January 26, 2014
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A
(NAB Translation) (Jerusalem Bible Translation) Lectionary: 67
This week’s first reading we hear from Isaiah and a familiar passage that is often associated with Christmas. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” This week we hear more about the meaning about what is behind the semicolon. Isaiah speaks of those that walked in the land of gloom. Before this time, the people in the land of Israel had felt the pressures of the unfriendly pagan neighboring nations, but this well-known verse pivots the tone to show the hope that God is giving to His people.
The Lord will provide. Just like in the referenced battle of Midian, where a tiny Israelite army defeated a huge army in the book of Judges, God can win in any situation, even in the most trying and difficult situations.
PS 27:1, 4, 13-14
R/ (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
1 COR 1:10-13, 17
St Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians is on a related, but different topic of unity. At the time St Paul wrote these letters, the church communities were very young. Still, we see a common problem that has plagued the Church to this day – disunity among the body. There were small factions forming based on who had baptized and catechized them.
Saint Paul uses a bold statement on the dangers of trying to be separate communities, and he points out how it is capable of emptying the meaning of the cross. He also compares it to replacing Jesus with our teachers. It makes you wonder how much it would hurt him to see how separated our Sundays have become among different denominations in the Christian Church today. In more recent times, Pope Francis has also called this break in unity a “great scandal.”
In this part of the liturgical year, we take to following a more chronological approach through the Gospel of Saint Matthew. The selection of the first reading it to put this reading into better context. It should also be noted that your parish might choose to do the optional, longer version that extends to verse 23 or stop at verse 17.
The shorter version recalls the imagery of light and hope in the middle of the apparent darkness. The extended version of this week’s Gospel reading tells us of how Jesus met Peter, Andrew, James and John, and calls them to be “fishers of men.” Jesus made no mistakes, and He intentionally chose to begin His public ministry in a world between the Jews and Gentiles.
Reflection done by Cristobal Almanza – @SoulPainter
Theme song – Ignite – Soundwave soundwave.cc
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