January 22, 2017 – 3rd Sunday in the Church Year

Saint for the day: Vincent of Zaragossa (died: c 304)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

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

“There is nothing new under the sun!”(Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)

Any time you feel that the Church is on rough seas just go back to almost any time or era and see that any group of people, trying to establish something new, will encounter troubles. The first centuries of the Church had some of the same problems that beset us today. We have to remember that the church – which is made up of people – will always be challenged by the times. This is just the reality within which we must strive to stay in the light – given our human weakness.

If you take the time to follow the “link” to today’s Saint, Vincent of Zargossa you’ll see something of what I’m talking about. You’ll also see how I have followed, like St. Vincent, the admonition given by St. Paul: in 1st Timothy 5:23.

 That was just an aside. Now back to the reflection.

Today, we hear in the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew the calling of the disciples but, still, another reminder that we are all called in some way or other. Today’s 1st Scripture Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah reminds us that we are the people who have seen a great light. We’re not walking in darkness anymore. Yet we know that the shadow of darkness is always nearby and we can so easily be drawn back into that darkness. We hear in today’s Holy Gospel, Jesus’ preaching: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:16) The word repent means to turn away from or turn back, meaning, in some sense, that we always have the possibility of turning away and falling back into darkness.

How do we stay in the Light of Christ? I think it has to be by familiarity. We have to want and seek after the things of Christ in order to find Him and stay close to him. By virtue of our Baptism we have seen the Great Light of Christ and are given that symbol – a lighted candle. The trouble with most who fall away is that they find themselves drawn further and further away from that Light and aren’t aware of how easy it is to return and get the light re-lit. Jesus – that Great Light – is always standing at the door … waiting for us to open and invite Him in. Amen!

 

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