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Sunday, January 26, 2014

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3rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 8:23—9:3
1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
Matthew 4:12-23

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"the lord is my light" (ps 27:1)

"A people living in darkness has seen a great light." —Matthew 4:16

Jesus, in His merciful love, can't bear the thought of a world in darkness. He declares: "I have come to the world as its Light, to keep anyone who believes in Me from remaining in the dark" (Jn 12:46). Yet some prefer the darkness and hate the light (Jn 3:19-21). There is no bushel basket (Mt 5:15) or wall thick enough to block out the Light of the World. So the people who hated the Light tried to extinguish the Light. For three days, they were successful, and the Light was buried in a tomb. However, Jesus is risen from the dead! "The light shines on in darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it" (Jn 1:5). Now Jesus the Light shines through us, His disciples (see Mt 5:14).

The people in darkness have seen a great light (Mt 4:16; Is 9:1). Many are attracted to the light, and stream toward it (see Is 2:2). Others prefer the deeds and lifestyle of darkness and will continue to attempt to extinguish the light, as if that were possible. Since we are now Jesus' lamps in the world, we must expect that His opponents will attempt to extinguish us in their futile attempts to darken the world. Eventually the only option for those who love darkness is to flee the light and find a place of permanent darkness. Some will detest the light so much they will beg the mountains and hills to cover them (see Hos 10:8; Lk 23:30; Rv 6:16). Repent of the futility of preferring darkness and opposing the light. Come to the Light, and join the victorious side (Jn 1:5).

Prayer:  Father, I repent of anything that I am hiding from You. Shine Your light on any darkness in my life.

Promise:  "Come after Me and I will make you fishers of men." —Mt 4:19

Praise:  Praise Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life! (Jn 11:25) "He is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords Who alone has immortality" (1 Tm 6:15-16).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2013

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