January 26, 2020

Word of God Sun.

January 26, 2020:  Sunday of the Word of God
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

See about 10 connections with today?
Legend below

For 1st reading and gospel
For Psalm 27
    For 2nd reading
    Pope Francis

    Homily:  The One who is the Word of God came to speak with us, in his own words and by his own life.  Let us go to the roots of his preaching, to the source of the word of life, that helps us to know how, where, and to whom Jesus preached.  Jesus’ ministry began with the simple phrase, “Repent; the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  This is the main message of all Jesus’ sermons, that God is near, tearing down walls and shortening distances through no merit of our own.  This is a joyful message:  God came to visit us in person, by becoming man, out of love, not duty.  God took our nature because he loves us and wants to give us the salvation that we can't attain without him.  He wants to stay with us and give us the beauty of life, peace of heart, the joy of being forgiven and feeling loved.  This helps us understand Jesus' demand to repent, to change our life, to live in a new way, with and for God, with and for others, with and for love.  Jesus asks us to let him enter our lives.  His word is a “love letter” to each of us to help us understand he's at our side.

    His word consoles, encourages, challenges, frees, and calls us; it has the power to change us and lead us from darkness into light.  Jesus started his preaching in Galilee, thought to be in darkness.  The word of salvation doesn't look for untouched, clean, safe places; it enters the complex and obscure places in our lives.  God wants to visit the places we think he'll never go.  How often we close the door, preferring to hide our confusion, dark side, and duplicity.  We approach the Lord with rote prayers, wary lest his truth stir us, but Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom and healed every disease, not afraid to enter the roughest and most difficult corners of our lives.  His mercy alone can heal us, his presence alone transform us, his word alone renew us.  

    Jesus chose to speak to simple people.  The first to be called were fishermen, working people, not chosen for their abilities or prayer in the temple.  He used language they understood, and their lives changed on the spot.  He called them where and as they were, to make them sharers in his mission, and they followed him,  drawn by love.  To follow Jesus, good works aren't enough; we have to listen daily to his call.  We need his word so we can hear, amid all the other words in our lives, the word of life.

    Make room for God's word.  Each day, read a verse or two of the Bible.   Begin with the Gospel:  keep it open on our table, carry it in your pocket, read it on your phones, and let it inspire you.   We'll discover God is close, dispels our darkness, and with love leads us into deep waters.

    Angelus:  In today's gospel Jesus met and called the disciples at the Sea of Galilee.  Galilee was a place on the peripheries looked upon with suspicion as it was where people mingled with Gentiles, and nothing good was expected from there; that's where Jesus began his preaching, proclaiming, "Convert; the kingdom of heaven is at hand."  This proclamation is like a beam of light that pierces the darkness, cuts through the fog.  Often it seems impossible to change one's life, to abandon selfishness, evil, and sin.  But that’s because we center on ourselves and our strength, not Christ and his Spirit.

    Open yourself to receive the Good News of Jesus, the news that changes the world and transforms hearts!  We're called to trust the Father, open ourselves to his mercy, and be transformed by the grace of the Spirit.  That’s what happened to the first disciples, whose encounter with Jesus gave them the impetus to follow him, to change and put themselves at the service of God's Kingdom.  Like Jesus, they felt comfortable on the frontier, mingling with Gentiles, to be light and to proclaim the freedom brought by Christ.  Imitate those first heralds and messengers of God's Word, following in the Savior's footsteps, offering hope to all who thirst for it.

      Wordle: Readings 1-26-14
    • Is 8:23-9:3 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great lightYou smashed the yoke that burdened them and brought them joy.
    • Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14 "The Lord is my light and my salvation."  Whom should I fear?  I ask to dwell in God's house forever.  Wait for the Lord. 
    • 1 Cor 1:10-13, 17 Be united in mind and purpose; no divisions!  Is Christ divided?
    • Mt 4:12-23 Jesus went to Capernaum, fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy, "The people in darkness have seen a great light."  He preached:  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  He told fishermen Simon and Andrew, “Come; I'll make you fishers of men,” and they followed him.  He called James and John in a boat; they followed him.  He proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom and cured people.
    • Creighton:  People experience darkness/despair personally, professionally, and politically.  It can be a burden to be open to others' pain, but we can and must help dispel the darkness with the light of Christ.  Each of us who experiences that light is called to share it in our relationships.  It's not our job to solve all problems, but rather to shed the light of Christ on them so people will have greater insights into them.  Still, sharing the light can be daunting.  But why be afraid?   “The Lord is my light and my salvation.”  The Lord is our refuge.  In a gloomy world, we can focus instead on the bounty of the Lord.  But Paul reminds us that there's difficulty in focusing the light of Christ.  It's not about the human wisdom but the humility of the cross.   Jesus healed diseases.  Hate may be our greatest disease today:  it cuts through families, communities, and nations and has put the world in darkness. Jesus, who knows how darkness brings despair and death, calls us to repent, to focus on the light, God's kingdom, not the darkness.  Look for, and courageously share, the light!
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Nobody like Jesus":  Jesus, walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee used by fishing businesses, commanded two brothers to follow him and leave behind their business, livelihood, family, and way of life, and they obeyed immediately.  He did the same thing at another fishing business, and two other brothers also left everything to follow him.  Jesus' words are "spirit and life," his actions powerful.  He didn't just cure some diseases; he "cured people of every disease."  He spoke, did, and was the Good News; he inaugurated a new way of life, the kingdom of God.  When he was crucified, "the gospel of the kingdom" seemed to have been defeated, but he rose and showed his Good News was stronger than death and his kingdom would last forever.  Follow Jesus....
      • The calling of Apostles Peter and Andrew
      • Passionist:  In the gospel, we hear of Jesus calling Simon Peter, his brother Andrew, James, and John.  He seems to walk by, stop, and say, “Come,” and they drop what they’re doing and follow him,  Before, Matthew says Jesus moved to Capernaum and began his public ministry, proclaiming, “Repent; the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” fulfilling the prophecy about the restoration of Zebulun and Naphtali, where Capernaum was.  What moved those 1st disciples to drop everything?  Maybe they recognized the light in him.  The more we're willing to live in the light of Christ, the more we'll be to drop what gets in the way and serve God and each other, and the more we do, the more we can walk in the light, and so on.  May we be able to see the light in darkness and live in faith, not gloom.  May we let go of fear, resentment, and despair, follow Jesus in loving God and others, and help bring light and hope.
      • DailyScripture.net:  "From darkness and death to light and life":  John the Baptist's enemies had sought to silence him, but the good news can't be silenced.  As soon as John finished his testimony, Jesus began his.  Isaiah foretold the good news would reach Jews and Gentiles in Galilee. Jesus began there to fulfill God's word. Prophets spoke of God’s promise to send a Redeemer to establish God's rule; Jesus brings gospel light and truth to the world, good news of peace, hope, truth, promise, immortality, and salvation.  The gospel is God's power and wisdom to transform us and show us how to live as God's children.  Through the gift of the Spirit, the Lord makes it possible for us to receive and act on his word.
      Jesus makes two demands:  repent and believe!  Repentance requires change:  turning from sin towards the Lord with faith and obedience.  God's grace helps us turn away from all that would keep us from his love.  Faith is a gift God makes to us; we can believe only when the Spirit moves and converts our heart; the Spirit opens our eyes so we may know God personally and accept and grow in our understanding of the truth.  To believe Jesus is Lord and Savior is to accept God's revelation.  The Father, out of his love for us, made the sacrifice of his Son to bring us back to himself.  Holy Spirit, renew in us the gift of faith, the love of wisdom, and a disciple's heart....
          • Sunday-trumped saints, from Universalis:  Timothy and Titus, bishops Paul converted who became his companions and helpers.  Paul entrusted the Ephesus Christians to Timothy and the Crete Christians to Titus.
          Dress legend
          • 'Street lamp' tie bar:  The people... have seen a great light (1st reading, gospel); the Lord is my light (psalm)
          • 'Clock' pin:  Wait for the Lord (psalm)
          • Crucifix:  Christ sent me to preach the gospel so his cross might not be emptied of its meaning (2nd reading)
          • 'Fishing pole' tie bar:  Jesus called fishermen Simon Peter and Andrew (gospel)
          • 'Boat' tie bar:  James and John left their boat to follow Jesus (gospel)
          • 'Children holding hands around the world' tie:  "Be united" (2nd reading)
          • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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