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Archives: January 2017
For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/011517.cfm
This Sunday we return to what is known as Ordinary Time in our Church. Ordinary Time is that time between the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Lent, and between the end of the Easter season and the beginning of Advent.
At first glance our Gospel for this Sunday would seem to suggest that we are back in Advent. I say this because as this Gospel begins we hear John the Baptist, identifying Jesus as “….. the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” In this Gospel, though, John also refers to Jesus’ baptism: “I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit." After his baptism, Jesus began his public ministry. And sincewe have no information about Jesus life prior to the beginning of his public ministry, apart from the story of the finding of Jesus in the Temple, it is fitting that we move from the stories of his birth to the beginning of his public ministry.
Our first reading this Sunday is from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. It refers to the “Servant” of the Lord, whom God will make “a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Our second reading this Sunday is the beginning of the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. The letter is addressed “to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy, with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- When John said he did not know Jesus, I suspect he meant that he didn’t recognize him as the promised messiah. When have you failed to recognize God’s presence in your life?
- Have you ever felt empowered by the Spirit to do something?
- In the first reading, Isaiah talked about the “Servant” who was to be a light to the nations. Have you ever felt called to be light to others?
Join us for a 3-part series: The Prophets of Love and Tenderness
Continuing on the theme of A Revolution of Love and Tenderness, we will explore various prophetic figures from the Old Testament.
Explore various prophetic figures from the Old Testament, look at the historical and cultural context of the stories, and explore how we can incorporate their messages into our lives today. Cost is $20/3 sessions.
Sundays, January 8, 15, 22 - 11:00am
For this Sunday’s readings, click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/010817.cfm
This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. Epiphany comes from the Greek word “epiphaneia” meaning manifestation. In the Western Rite Catholic Churches this Feast is celebrated as the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, represented by the Magi from the East.
On this feast we always read the Gospel story of the visit to the new born Christ child by astrologers or magi from the East. If you read the Gospel text carefully, however, you will notice that the magi are never identified as “kings” and their number is never specified. (We presume there were three, because there were three gifts.) The three “kings” we sing of comes to us from our verbal tradition and not from the scriptures.
The message of this feast is important and it is stated well by St. Paul in our second reading today. “……….the Gentiles are now co-heirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise of Jesus Christ through the Gospel.” In essence Paul is saying that Jesus came to save all people for all time. His manifestation to the magi reminds us of this most basic fact.
Our first reading today is taken from the book of the prophet Isaiah. It speaks of the restoration of Jerusalem, when the Israelites will return from their exile. The new Jerusalem will be a light to the nations for the Lord will shine upon it.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- While there have been and will continue to be dramatic and powerful epiphanies of our God, I also believe that subtler epiphanies take place all the time. Can you remember a time when you experienced God’s presence and grace (an epiphany)?
- If Jesus Christ came to save all people for all time, why do you suppose some people want to put limits on God’s salvific will?
- Can you find the Epiphany stained glass window in the Basilica?