February 5 - Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Salt & Light

January 31st, 2017

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First Reading  Isaiah 58:7-10
In the work of justice, light shall break through darkness.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 112:4-9
The just person will be a light in the darkness.

 

Second Reading  1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Paul shows that he came to Corinth preaching Christ crucified.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 5:13-16

 

 
So, when Jesus says to his followers – “You are the salt of the earth”, it simply means that a follower of Jesus must lend flavour to life, bringing joy & gladness, happiness & peace, justice & love, care & concern, hope & consolation, among whom he lives. Just as insipid salt is of no use in flavouring or preserving food, so too the so-called 'disciples' are of no use if they fail to live as Christ teaches. Jesus also says we are the light of the world. By itself light is no good. It is only good when it shows us something other than itself. That is what Christians are called to do - to live lives that show the presence of God in the world. If we do not do this there is darkness and, without doubt, the world is today in deep darkness in many ways. We Christians must ask ourselves if we are giving out light.

January 29 - Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time : Commandments of Love

January 27th, 2017

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First Reading  Zephaniah 2:3, 3:12-13
There will be a people who remain sheltered from God's anger.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 146:6-10
The Lord is faithful forever.

 

Second Reading  1 Corinthians 1:26-31
God chooses the weak to show his power.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 5:1-12a

 

 

                    Today's reading is the beginning of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, which is found in

Matthew's Gospel. Jesus describes those who are truly fortunate, the lucky ones of their

day.  “Blessed”   is   sometimes translated as happy,   fortunate,   or favored.  But   it   is  not

emperors, conquerors, priests, and the wealthy who enjoy this favor. Rather, it is the

common people, those whom earthly success has largely passed by: the poor, the meek,

the persecuted, and the peacemakers. Jesus is saying that divine favor is upon those

who are poor, those who mourn, those who are persecuted. This news might have been

welcome—and surprising—to the crowds who heard Jesus that day.

How can this be? The answer is that even though they may have been denied worldly

success, what cannot be taken away from them is their potential to live rightly by one

another. It is all too easy for those who enjoy the pleasures of this world from their

hilltop mansions to float above such obligations. Jesus goes on to say that so long as

ordinary people stand for the right things and do not retreat in their rightness before

those who seem to have more power, what is right will prevail. It’s their kingdom — a

kingdom organized not from the top down, but from the bottom up. In the Beatitudes,

Jesus offers a description of the community of goodwill His teachings will build in this

world – if we follow them

January 22 - Third Sunday in Ordinary Time : Light shines in darkness

January 18th, 2017

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First Reading  Isaiah 8:23-9:3 
The people in darkness have seen a great light.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 27:1,4,13-14 
The Lord is our refuge, our light, our salvation.

Second Reading  1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17 
Paul urges the community at Corinth to be united as people baptized in Christ's name.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 4:12-23

 Jesus begins his ministry not from the Holy city of Jerusalem but from Galilee, the land of Herod Antipas, the ruler who had just arrested John the Baptist. Matthew saw this as a fulfillment of ancient prophecy (Is 9:1-2). Light has come into a land of darkness (Jn 8:12). Christ’s work goes on wherever even one true follower of his is found for there still many who live in darkness and in the shadow of death. Each of us has areas of darkness in our lives. Darkness can stand for many things: fear, illness, pain, sin, error, loneliness, despair, oppression etc. As followers of Christ we are called to be bearers of His light

January 15 - Second Sunday of the Ordinary Time: Pointing Christ out to others

January 11th, 2017

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First Reading  Isaiah 49:3,5-6

God's servant, Israel, will be made a light to the nations.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 40:2,4,7-10

God desires obedience.

 

Second Reading  1 Corinthians 1:1-3

Paul greets the Church in Corinth.

 

Gospel Reading

John 1:29-34

 

John the Baptist found his reason for existence. He was to point out the Lamb of God to the world.  His mission is not different from the mission of every Christian.  We are to point out the Lamb of God to the world. There is nothing greater that any of us can do in our lives than point Christ out to others, first to our children who must follow us in pointing to the Lord for others to find him, and then to all who meet us. John the Baptist was not a typical person of his time.  He was extraordinary.  When we consider his life, we realize that it was not John’s dress or preaching that made him extraordinary, it was the fact that he found the purpose for his life.  He looked to Jesus and said, “There is the Lamb of God.” We have been called to do the same.

January 8 - The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord: The Star of Wonder

January 4th, 2017

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First Reading  Isaiah 60:1-6
Jerusalem shall be a light to all nations.

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,10-11,12-13
Every nation on earth shall worship the Lord.

Second Reading  Ephesians 3:2-3a,5-6
Gentiles are coheirs in the promise of Christ.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 2:1-12

 

 

In Matthew 2: 9-11, the ageless story describes a Star in the East guiding three wise men, or magi, to the place of the divine birth of Christ. According to medieval legends, the three wise men were named Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar. These three priest-kings and wisemen brought royal gifts to the divine infant: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Melchior brought a golden cup, which, according to legend, was preserved by the Blessed Virgin Mary and was the same cup used in the institution of the Holy Eucharist. Balthazar brought a gold box of frankincense. Gaspar brought a curiously chased flask of myrrh, a royal embalming oil. The gift of gold symbolizes the kingship of Christ, which represents our own true royal Self-hood and our giving of love and service as directed and commanded by that Self. The gift of frankincense symbolizes the Godhead of Christ and our own gifts of honour and reverence to our indwelling Divinity. The gift of myrrh is a prophecy of the death and burial of the earthly body of Christ, which represents our understanding and empathy for the suffering of humanity. Let us pray that just as the Magi were guided by a star we too be guided by the signs of the times to find God and worship Him.

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