Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Our readings today speak of the arrival of a great light in the midst of darkness. The Gospel passage from Matthew, quoting from Isaiah, identifies this light as the person of Jesus. God’s new day is dawning as Jesus begins his ministry of teaching, preaching, and healing. God’s new day also begins as Jesus calls his disciples and forms a community. These disciples begin a journey together, learning how to reflect the light of Christ in their own life and ministry. We know, however, that the first disciples, like the church in Corinth described by Paul, sometimes obscured this light, especially when disagreements drew them to forget their unity in Christ. We are reminded to watch, in our individual lives and in our community life, that we do not hide our light under a bushel, but instead shine light for all to see.
A NEW DAWN
Darkness is a very common human experience. Have you recently been in pitch darkness? When it is really dark, not only can’t you see where to take the next steps, you can’t see any activity around you, whether good or bad. This is the kind of darkness Isaiah speaks of in our reading. In this darkness, the people of Israel, and all humanity, can’t see how God is working on their behalf. So when Jesus arrives on the scene in our Gospel passage, it is like the first rays of sunlight from the dawn, giving clarity and hope. In Jesus we can begin to see how God is active on behalf of all people, and in fact has been working during the earlier darkness. We can begin to see where to take our next steps, and to learn how to reflect this light to others.
FROM THE ORDINARY
When Matthew turns to the call of the first disciples of Jesus, it is striking how ordinary these men were. Jesus does not recruit “the best and the brightest” as his core team. The four disciples named here had little or no education, no special breeding, no influence in high places. They had ordinary jobs in ordinary places. But this is often how God works, throughout the story of God and the Chosen People in the Bible. Remember the call of ordinary folks like Abraham, Moses, David, Mary, and many others.
Today we are reminded that God loves us and calls us just as we are, where we are, in the present. God doesn’t ask us to become somehow more acceptable ahead of time, in order to draw near to God. We are called by God to be partners and disciples, and God will teach us along the way. Wherever we are in our lives, God calls us from our ordinariness, to join our hearts with the divine Heart, and to join God in the work that must be done.
Today’s Readings: Is 8:23 — 9:3; Ps 27:1, 4, 13–14; 1 Cor 1:10–13, 17; Mt 4:12–23 [12–17]
Also in this bulletin:
- In Loving Memory of Deacon Ken Ramage
- Pictures of Confirmation, Public Safety Night, Junior Catholic Daughters
- Upcoming meetings and events for Women’s Guild, Altar & Rosary Society, Health Ministry, and more
- Father Gerard Mission Appeal
- Diocesan Convocation