DAILY MASS READINGS (January 26, 2020)

3RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME/SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD/NATIONAL BIBLE SUNDAY (CYCLE A, Green)

Reading 1 (ISAIAH 8:23—9:3)

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

First the Lord degraded the land of Zebulun
and the land of Naphtali;
but in the end he has glorified the seaward road,
the land west of the Jordan,
the District of the Gentiles.

Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness:
for there is no gloom where but now there was distress.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing,
as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
as people make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
and the rod of their taskmaster
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 27:1, 4, 13-14)

R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Reading 2 (1 CORINTHIANS 1:10-13, 17)

A reading from the 1st Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians

I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that all of you agree in what you say,
and that there be no divisions among you,
but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.
For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters,
by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you.
I mean that each of you is saying,
“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 baptized in the name of Paul?
For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel,
and not with the wisdom of human eloquence,
so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

– The word of the Lord.

Alleluia (MATTHEW 4:23)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MATTHEW 4:12-23 OR 4:12-17)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.
He went around all of Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness among the people.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

or

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: After celebrating the Christmas and New Year festivities and even the Feast of the Santo Nino last Sunday, we now resume to the Sundays in Ordinary Time. This is the longest season in our Church, and we meditate on the Public Ministry of Christ. Even though Ordinary Time doesn’t have a specific nature of celebration since it’s thoroughly casual, this is the time wherein we live the spirit of the festivities and celebrations. As we resume to the ordinary duties and routines of our lives, we also discover the extraordinary graces of God. In the Gospel (Matthew 4:12-23 or 4:12-17), we hear about the Public Ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. God the Son who humbled himself into human flesh, revealed at Jordan River as the “beloved Son of the Father”, and fasted in the desert for 40 days and nights, now comes as this figure of light, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah in the First Reading (Isaiah 8:23—9:3). Then he begins to preach repentance that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, meaning that he has come to preach about the love and salvation of God. Afterwards, he calls in his first four disciples who were fishermen by the Sea of Galilee. Neither one of the Evangelists stated the reason why the Lord called his Apostles from ordinary lives, but this calling is worth extraordinary grace because these men will serve as the foundation of the Church, to which they will continue the teachings and example of the Master. In fact, this ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ that was taught by the Apostles has been handed down to the shepherds and pastors of the Church from one generation until the present, and now even the ordinary people are part of this calling. Nowadays the Church stresses on the point that Evangelization is not only found in Homilies, testimonies during prayer meetings, etc., but also in the ordinary lives of the faithful. And it is done in two ways, which are preaching and giving witness through lifestyle.
Ordinary Time is the season of our ordinary lives. But as what I’ve mention, this is where we can discover the extraordinary graces of God. Imagine the first four disciples and the succeeding men who were called from their common livelihood into the company of the One who will be the Savior of the world and the head of the Church, to which they will be the first witnesses through the calling of being “fishers of men”. Before you have to literally leave your own comfort zones and detach from material things if you want to preach the Gospel, and this is still being practiced by the priests and religious. But now, the Church exhorts us that Evangelization is also for the Laity, to which we become part of, not only those who are part of liturgical and pastoral activities of the parish communities. The things we should leave behind are those obstacles that hinder us from the calling of Christ. We are called to give witness to the Good News through our everyday lifestyle. And we have the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ to enable us fulfill this mission that comes from God the Father. May we also acknowledge what the Psalmist in our response today proclaims as we take part in this work of Evangelization: “The Lord is my light and my salvation. “(Psalm 27:4a)

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