Theme of the Sunday: The Light of Christ Begins to Shine. Jesus started his public ministry in Galilee, considered a land of pagans, a people held in contempt by other Jews. At the end of his gospel Matthew says that it was from a mountain in Galilee that Jesus sent his disciples. The light that shone out from Galilee is destined to illumine people all over the world. The first reading stresses this universality of the Church and shows how this had been foretold by the prophet. The second reading provides an example of a community in which there are divisions because people refuse to accept each other’s ideas.
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 9 : 1-4)
In Galilee of the nations, the people have seen a great light.
In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORAL PSALM Psalm 27: 1.4. 13-14 (R. 1a)
R/. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The lord is the stronghold of my life;
whom should I dread? R/.
There is one thing I ask of the Lord,
only this do I seek: to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord,
to inquire at his temple. R/.
I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong;
be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord! R/.
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1:10- 13. 17)
“I appeal to you, brethren, that there be no dissensions among you.”
I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarrelling among you, my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptised in the name of Paul? For Christ did not send me to baptise but to preach the Gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA Matthew 4:23
Alleluia. Jesus was preaching the Gospel of the kingdom and healing every infirmity among the people. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 4: 12-23)
“He went to Capernaum, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled.”
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Capemaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, towards the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles — the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom and healing every dis- ease and every infirmity among the people.
The Gospel of the Lord.
We are given one more opportunity to celebrate the gift of Jesus to us today in the liturgy as the light of the world. His light scatters the darkness of sin, pain, sickness, distress, disappointments, and death. He comes to take away the darkness and to help us with our burdens. He also calls us to be his disciples and shares his light with us. He makes us light as well so that we can shine and put an end to the darkness in our corner of the world and in the lives of those around us. He noted once: “You are the light of the world… let your light shine.” Christ’s light in us shines brightly when we seek to do his will and work with him to spread God’s kingdom of love, justice and peace. So, let your light shine. Lord, dispel the darkness of our daily struggles and pain! Amen
PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL
Celebrant: In baptism God has made us a consecrated people, a people called to holiness. In this spirit, then, let us pray:
That, as a parish community, we may give witness to the presence of the Lamb of God in our community and our world: let us pray to the Lord.
That the good news of Christ Jesus taught by our bishops, priests, deacons, and ministers “may reach to the ends of the earth”: let us pray to the Lord.
That our nation may recommit itself to the principles of liberty and justice for all men, women, and children, regardless of race, nationality, or creed: lets us pray to the Lord.
That families in crisis and communities in turmoil may find hope and healing in Cod’s Spirit of reconci1ialion and forgiveness: let us pray to the Lord.
That we may recognize the Spirit of God in the work and sacrifice of those who work with the poor, the oppressed, and the forgotten: let us pray to the Lord.
That the light of God’s mercy and peace will shine upon the deceased members of our families and parish: let us pray to the Lord.
That God will hear the prayers we now make in the silence of our hearts
Hear the prayers of your people, O God. May your Spirit rest upon each one of us that we may create our lives and our world anew in your love and mercy. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Christ.