Thoughts on the Readings for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) 2014


Our Gospel this weekend comes in two sections.  In the first section we read that Jesus “left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.”   We are told he did this “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………….”

In the second section of this Gospel we read of the beginnings of Jesus’ ministry with the call of Peter and his brother Andrew: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  and James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John:  “He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.”    Notice that in both cases Jesus did not give them any information or even an idea of what following him would involve.  

Our first reading this weekend is taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.   It is the passage that was referenced in the Gospel.  “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.”   The word “degraded” refers to the fact that these lands had been conquered by the Assyrians.  In his prophecy, though, Isaiah foresees a time of restoration and glory for these lands. 

Our second reading this weekend is taken from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians.  In the section we read this weekend Paul, hearing of some rivalries and divisions within the community at Corinth, urges the Corinthians to be “united in the same mind and in the same purpose.” 

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

1. When Jesus called his first disciples, why do you think he didn’t give them any specifics regarding what following him would entail?  
2.  Have you ever been surprised at what it has meant for you to follow Jesus? 

3.  Divisions within the Christian community have been around since the beginning of the Church.  Why do you think this is?

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