Saturday, January 22, 2011



JANUARY 23, 2011

Readings: Is 8:23—9:3 / Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14 / 1 Cor 1:10-13, 17 / Mt
4:12-23 or 4:12-17

ISAIAH 8:23 —9:3
Yahweh has just afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of
Naphtali; but in the future he will confer glory on the way of the
sea, on the land beyond the Jordan— the pagans' Galilee. The people
who walk in darkness have seen a great light. A light has dawned on
those who live in the land of the shadow of death. You have enlarged
the nation; you have increased their joy. They rejoice before you, as
people rejoice at harvest time as they rejoice in dividing the spoil.
For the yoke of their burden, the bar across their shoulders, the rod
of their oppressors, you have broken it as on the day of Midian.

1 CORINTHIANS 1:10-13, 17
I beg of you, brothers and sisters, in the name of Christ Jesus, our
Lord, to agree among yourselves and do away with divisions; please be
perfectly united, with one mind and one judgment. For I heard from
people of Cloe's house about your rivalries. What I mean is this: some
say, "I am for Paul," and others: "I am for Apollo," or "I am for
Peter," or "I am for Christ." Is Christ divided or have I, Paul, been
crucified for you? Have you been baptized in the name of Paul? For
Christ did not send me to baptize, but to proclaim his Gospel. And not
with beautiful words! That would be like get ting rid of the cross of

MATTHEW 4:12-23
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into
Galilee. He lef t Na zar eth and went to live in Capernaum, a town by
the lake of Galilee, at the border of Zebulun and Naphtali. In this
way the word of the prophet Isaiah was fulfilled: Land of Zebulun and
land of Naphtali, crossed by the Road of the Sea, and you who live
beyond the Jordan, Galilee, land of pagans: The people who lived in
darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in the land of the
shadow of death, a light has shone. From that time on, Jesus began to
proclaim his message, "Change your ways: the kingdom of heaven is
near." As Jesus walked by the lake of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the
lake, for they were fishermen. He said to them, "Come, follow me, and
I will make you fish for people." At once they left their nets and
followed him. He went on from there and saw two other brothers, James,
the son of Zebedee, and his brother John in a boat with their father
Zebedee, mending their nets. Jesus called them. At once they left the
boat and their father and followed him.

Our Gospel reading for today gives us a picture of Jesus as he left
the security of his home in Nazareth to follow the mission for which
he had been sent into the world as one of us, as one among us. Here
Matthew reminds us that Jesus was fulfilling the very prophecy of
Isaiah that we heard in our first reading today. Jesus was to be the
light that would shine in the world where so many people were walking
in darkness. As the Light shining in the darkness Jesus would bring to
the world "abundant joy and great rejoicing." It was Jesus' mission to
be that light and to be truly a liberating light for people walking in
gloom. This was the mission for which Jesus was baptized as we saw in
the gospel reading on the feast of the Baptism of Jesus two Sundays
ago, and this is the mission that continues to be needed in our world
today. Surely we can see that in our world today there are many people
who are in darkness and who are walking in gloom. There is the
darkness and gloom of ignorance, of deadly poverty, of hatred and wars
among nations, as well as the darkness of sin. We know that we live in
a world in which there is greed for power that prevents people from
experiencing true justice. We know that there is discrimination on
many levels – racial discrimination, discrimination against women,
discrimination based on sexual orientation. The list of what our world
needs by way of liberating light can go on and on.

But it is precisely to this world of ours, our world of darkness and
gloom, that Jesus has been sent, and for which he was anointed at his
baptism by the Spirit. Jesus left Nazareth to begin his light-bringing
mission, which is a mission that continues up to this day. In the
gospel reading we see that from the very beginning Jesus knew that he
needed the help and cooperation of others for such a mission. He
wanted to involve people who were themselves actually living and
struggling in the darkness and gloom of the world. Jesus did not call
upon angels to come down from heaven. No, as we see in today's gospel
reading he called upon ordinary people living ordinary lives. These
first disciples were not men recognized as the leaders of their
community. They were not men famous for any great accomplishments.
They were not numbered among the scribes and Pharisees or among the
priests of the Temple. These men were fishermen. Matthew very simply
says "they were fishermen."

In the light of the magnitude of Christ's mission does it seem strange
that Christ would call these simple men, about whom we know almost
nothing, to follow him to have a share in his mission to be fishers of
men? Very strange indeed. But something important to notice is what
Jesus says to them: "Come after me and I will make you fishers of
men." That "I will make you" statement is all important because it
shows us that what these simple men were not able to do by their own
powers, they would be enabled to do by the power of the Lord working
in them. Jesus calls them and Jesus empowers them.

Today as we look at the mission of the Church in our present world of
darkness and gloom, simple men and women like you and me are being
called to follow Jesus and to have a share in the mission for which he
was baptized and for which he was anointed by the Spirit. Yes, still
very strange indeed! Each one of us is called to some share in the
mission. But for all of us, no matter what the particular call may be,
we can hear the Lord say to us "Come after me and I will make you what
I want you to be." So we can be confident that with the Lord's help we
can leave our boats (whatever they may be) and follow the Lord as men
and women who will be his disciples. With the Lord's help we can bring
light to the gloom and darkness of our world.

We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- David and Amy Trice
- Chona Borja
- Ely Lara
- Rita P. Cuerva
- Wendy
- Vicky Fabella
- Susan
… for the personal intentions of
- Titong
- Jennifer Ann
- Josheil Dapo
… Birthday:
- Albert Yap
- Cherry Tan
… for the eternal repose of the soul of Thomas Sy. Eternal rest grant
unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all
the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Bryan R. Bahena
- Birthday: Edward J. Salvador
- Wedding Anniversary: Luis & Susan Lim
- In Memoriam (+): Yu Cheng Kho (1916 - 1993)+
… for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!


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