3rd Sunday of the Year (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Cycle of the Year (a)
Weekdays – Year 1.
Sunday 22nd January: Third Sunday of the Year (a)
In the first reading, from Isaiah, in their dark days of oppression and deportation, God promises his people the light of joy and salvation.
The Christians of Corinth are divided into factions, each with a personality cult around those who preached the gospel to them. St. Paul, writing to them, reminds them that they must be united in and around Christ and not allow the factions to conquer their faith..
In St. Matthew’s Gospel, we hear how Jesus fulfils the prophecy of Isaiah. He is the promised light, for he brings the good news of salvation.
Monday 23rd January: Monday in the 3rd week of the year.
The author of the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that Jesus brings a new covenant, not a copy of the old. His sacrifice was far superior and never needs to be made again. We die once and go to judgement. Christ died but rose and will come back to judge.
The scribes were already trying to discredit Jesus saying he worked through the devil. Jesus turns this back on them but also says they have opportunity to repent so that their sins might be forgiven.
Tuesday 24th January: Memorial of St. Francis of Sales.
Francis was born near Savoy, France, in 1567. As he grew up, he became very religious and wished to consecrate himself to God. His father was not keen on this but he persisted and after studying law at university, he began his studies for the priesthood and was ordained. He spent much of his time working as a missionary near Lake Geneva. At first, he met a lot of hostility but his determination and excellent preaching bought great numbers into the Church. Later he became a Bishop and was much in demand as a preacher all over France. He set himself to show that the lives of ordinary people who are not priests or religious could and should be made holy. He is patron saint of writers, editors and journalists
Wednesday 25th January: Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.
Today we celebrate an event of great consequence for the life of the Church: the conversion of St. Paul. It was sudden and dramatic. From being a persecutor of the Church, he is transformed into an apostle of Christ. This was a turning point in the life of the early Christian community.
Thursday 26th January: Memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus.
These were two of St. Paul’s most loyal workers. Timothy was a convert and accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey. He left him at Ephesus and continued his work there. Titus was put in charge of the Church in Crete. Paul wrote two letters to Timothy and one to Titus. These are often referred to the ‘Pastoral Letters.’
Friday 27th January: Friday in 3rd week of the year.
The author of the Letter to the Hebrews reflects on how the follower of Christ has already suffered persecution and had to struggle to hold on to the new found faith. He encourages his readers to keep that up and have hope and belief in God’s love for us.
St. Mark recounts some more parables on the perennial problem – how do good and evil exist side by side. It is the harvest on Judgement Day which will give the answer.
Saturday 28th January: Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Thomas was born near Aquino in Italy in 1225 and died in 1274. He is one of the greatest of the doctors of the Church. He became a Dominican and devoted his life to teaching and preaching but above all, to a theological presentation of the truths of the faith. He studied under St. Albert the Great, taught in the University of Paris and there began his writing career. He produced many books and treatises especially on ‘The Eucharist’ but above all his ‘Summa Theoligica’ is regarded as a foundational work in theology. He is patron saint of scholars, universities and booksellers.