3rd Sunday of the Year (a)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (2)
Sunday 26th 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 27th January: Monday of Week 3 of the Year.
We move in to the second Book of Samuel. David had become King of the southern kingdom (Judah) and now there was an internal struggle for control of the northern kingdom (Judah and Israel). Eventually David manages to overcome the tribes from there and unite the two kingdoms, based on Jerusalem.
The scribes as usual are trying to discredit Jesus and what he is saying and doing. The claim he is an agent of the devil. Jesus turns this back on them. He reminds them they will be forgiven if they repent.
Tuesday 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.
Wednesday 29th January: Wednesday of Week 3 of the Year.
David wished to build a temple but the prophet told him that this was to be left to his son to do. David was promised that his line would last and from it would come the Messiah. This is a key point in the history of Israel.
Today’s Gospel gives us one of the clearest parables Jesus uses to preach of the kingdom.
Thursday 30th January: Thursday of Week 3 of the Year.
David realises how, in the great scheme of things, he is little compared to God and so he prays a prayer of praise. He was the God of Israel, its people were his people and he was their sole God.
The Gospel reminds us that, whatever talents we are given in life, we are expected to use them to the best of our ability. We should be signs of the presence of Christ in the community.
Friday 31st January: Memorial of St. John Bosco.
St. John Bosco was born near Turin in Italy in 1815. His mother brought him up from the age of two following on the death of his father. From his early years, he wanted to be a priest and work with homeless boys. Some time after his ordination, he managed to set up a training school for poor boys. By 1856, there were 150 resident boys, with 4 workshops, a printing press, Latin classes and another 500 children coming in as day students. At first, he had a number of priests helping him on an informal basis. Later he founded a religious order to carry on his work. These became known as the Salesians, after the Patron Saint chosen for them, St. Francis of Sales. John Bosco died in 1863. He is a patron of the young and of teachers.
Saturday 1st February: Saturday of Week 3 of the Year.
David has sinned. Nathan the prophet talks with him about the seriousness of his situation. David acknowledges his guilt and repents he is pardoned but is pounished with drastic responses including the death of his son.
Jesus calms the waters in the Gospel. The disciples were trying to get away for some quiet reflection and prayer. Having faith is essential. With faith, Jesus can calm our deepest fears and anxieties.