Reflections

THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, JANUARY 22, 2023

A LIGHT HAS DAWNED
Greeting
May Christ, the true light of the world,
always brighten and inspire our lives.
May our faces reflect his warmth and love,
and may the Lord always be with you.
R/ And with your spirit.

Introduction
We are convinced that the coming of Jesus was a radical change for the world. With him God’s light began to shine on a world plunged in the dark. Today, is all darkness gone from our world? Even from his Church and the Churches? Is Jesus still our light today? Our lives should reflect God’s light on all people far and near. We acclaim Jesus here among us as the light of our life.

Penitential Act
Let us ask pardon from the Lord
for all the times when our sins
kept us from letting the light of Christ shine.
(pause)

Lord Jesus, let your light shine
in the darkness of our world:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, let your light shine in us
and drive all our sins away:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, let your light shine
on the Churches that profess your name
and make them all one in you:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Lord, let your forgiving love
drive away all sin from our hearts
and let your light shine in us.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer
Let us pray
that we may follow Jesus all the way
(pause)

God our Father,
your Son invites us, gently but insistently,
to follow him as faithful disciples.
Open our minds to his light,
make us respond to his love
and entrust our whole being to him.
May his kingdom grow in each of us
and in the whole world,
that he may lead us in hope
to the joy you have prepared for us in your home.
We ask you this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

First Reading (Isaiah 8:23b,9:3): God Promises Light to His People
In their dark days of oppression and deportation, God promises his people the light of joy and salvation.

1 Reading – ISAIAH 8:23b,9:3
First the Lord degraded the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali; but in the end he has glorified the seaward road, the land west of the Jordan, the District of the Gentiles. Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness: for there is no gloom where but now there was distress. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as people make merry when dividing spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, and the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.

Responsorial PSALM 27:1, 4, 13-14
R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid? R.

One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple. R.

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. R.

Second Reading (1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17): Be United in Christ!
The Christians of Corinth are divided into factions, each with a personality cult around those who preached the Gospel to them. Paul tells them: do not divide Christ; be united in him!

2 Reading – 1 CORINTHIANS 1:10-13,17
I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters, by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you. I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

Alleluia MATTHEW 4:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (Matthew 4:12-23): Christ, Light for All in Darkness
Jesus fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah: he is the promised light, for he brings the Good News of salvation

Gospel – MATTHEW 4:12-23
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen. From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.

Commentary
In every generation God has always invited people to participate in the work of evangelization. Today Jesus, the master of the vineyard calls on Peter, Andrew, James and John to join in the work of building the kingdom of God on earth. It is interesting that in choosing his apostles, Jesus did not go to the temple where the learned scholars and the rich aristocrats sit at table to interpret the laws that determine the fate of others. Jesus rather went to where the simple, gentle, humble, hardworking and obedient ones are found – at the Sea of Galilee. On the special three, G.C. Morgan writes: “There can be no doubt that these men, Peter, James, and John, were the most remarkable in the apostolate. Peter loved Him; John He loved; James was the first to seal his testimony with his blood. Even their blunders proved their strength. They were the men of enterprise; men who wanted thrones and places of power…Mistaken ideas, all of them, and yet proving capacity for holding the keys and occupying the throne.

Intercessions
Let us pray to God our Father that the light of his Son Jesus Christ may bring hope and salvation to all. Let us pray:
R/ Let the light of Christ shine on us.

– That the People of God may in this world be like a great light shining in the darkness; that they may be men and women and children committed to build up a better world, let us pray:
R/ Let the light of Christ shine on us.
– That the leaders of the world may bring rays of hope into the lives of those who suffer by giving justice to the oppressed, human dignity to every person, aid and comfort to those who cannot help themselves, let us pray:
R/ Let the light of Christ shine on us.
– That peace and unity may brighten our homes, all our human communities, our nation, and that there may be no polarizations in the Christian community, let us pray:
R/ Let the light of Christ shine on us.
– That those who search and grope in life may discover Christ as the answer to their quest for love, goodness and truth, let us pray:
R/ Lord, let the light of Christ shine on us.
– That we here and all Christian communities may be to all who see us like a light on a mountain top, guiding people to God’s love, let us pray:
R/ Let the light of Christ shine on us.

God our Father, do not allow those who believe in your Son to live in the darkness of evil. Let Jesus be the guide to you, our God for ever and ever. R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
creator of light and light itself,
let your Son come among us
as a pathway of life towards you.
Open our blind eyes
that we may discover him
as your light that beckons us.
May we also begin to see
the people around us
and the hopes and pleas
that glow in their eyes,
and lead them to your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Introduction to the Preface
Now we thank our loving Father for having called us through Christ into his own wonderful light.

Invitation to the Lord’s Prayer
Led by Jesus himself,
we pray his trusting prayer
to God our Father. R/ Our Father…

Deliver Us
Deliver us Lord,
from the darkness of sin and evil
and show us the peace and light
of Jesus your Son.
Remove from our hearts the gloom
of all fear and anxiety
and lead us forward
to the joy and the light
of the full coming among us
of our Saviour Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom…

Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus the Lord,
who said of himself:
”I am the light of the world.”
Happy are we to follow him,
for we will have the light of life. R/ Lord, I am not worthy…

Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
you have enlightened us
with the Word of your Son
and strengthened us with the food of his Body
on the way to you.
Let him make us like himself,
a light to the world,
bringing a spark of hope where there is despair,
the radiance of joy where there is sadness,
a glow of love where there is indifference.
We ask you this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.

Blessing
Go and take the light of Christ with you
that it may shine in the world.
Speak with your lives
his message of hope and joy,
and show by what you are and do
that Christ is alive in you.
And may almighty God accompany you
and bless you:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

Walk in the light of Christ.
R/ Thanks be to God.

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