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Sunday, January 22, 2023

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Third 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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“On those who inhabit a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen.” —Matthew 4:16

In the northern hemisphere, it is gloomy and cloudy. The days are short and the nights are long. The newness of New Year’s resolutions has worn off, and it is very cold outside. In addition, spiritually speaking, the land is overshadowed by death (see Mt 4:16). Does this describe your life?

Then, suddenly, in the midst of this gloom, a bright light shines forth: the light of Christ. The Easter Vigil liturgy vividly conveys this image of darkness to light. Darkness and death are powerful forces; light and life are even more powerful. Often people in darkness don’t realize they are in darkness; they adjust to the darkness. It’s when the light appears that the contrast is evident; they then realize just how dark it really was. Focusing on this world can likewise darken our minds, and we are tempted to adjust our lives by incorporating a more worldly lifestyle. Thus our “light is darkness” (Mt 6:23).

People often prefer the darkness (Jn 3:19) and do not approach the light. But Isaiah proclaims that the light causes rejoicing (Is 9:1-2). Christ is the Light (Jn 8:12). Don’t put on “spiritual sunglasses” by living a worldly lifestyle and thus blotting out the light of Christ. Instead, walk toward the light (1 Jn 1:7) by a life of ever-deepening prayer, service and study.

Prayer:  Father, help me make any lifestyle changes necessary to live in the light of the Lord.

Promise:  “The Lord is my Light and my Salvation; whom should I fear?” —Ps 27:1

Praise:  “Destroy this temple...and in three days I will raise it up” (Jn 2:19). Merciful Jesus, Your Resurrection is a precursor to our resurrection.

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

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