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3rd Sunday A

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Dear brothers and sisters, …

Dear brothers and sisters,

We have seen the light if we have joy inside and rejoice with others.

Fr. Cielo

Published in: Spiritual

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  • 1. Welcome to our Bible Study 3rd Sunday in the Ordinary Time A January 23, 2011 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  • 2. 1 reading: Isaiah 8,23-9,3 st  23 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. 9:1 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. 2 You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils. 3 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.
  • 3. 1st reading: Isaiah 8,23-9,3  23 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. 9:1 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. 2 You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils. 3 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 focus is on Zebulun and Naphtali, where there was gloom.
  • 4. A simple outline! 1 reading: Isaiah 8,23--9,3 st The Reversal of the Fate of Zebulun and Naphtali  23 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 Reversal of the Fate of the People  9:1 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. 2 You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils. 3 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.
  • 5. 1st reading: Isaiah 8,23-9,3 The Reversal of the Fate of Zebulun and Naphtali  23 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 Reversal of the Fate of the People  9:1 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. 2 You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils. 3 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. Commentary       V.23 is a long verse divided into two sentences. It presents the reversal of the fate of the two lands, Zebulun and Naphtali (2 tribes of Israel, during the time of the Judges)  At first they were degraded, now glorified.  At first there was anguish and darkness, now these are dispelled.  At first there was gloom, now no more. 9,1 is a continuation of v.23. But now it refers to people, not land (more or less the same thing actually).  At first people walked in darkness, now in light  At first people dwelt in gloom, now in light. V.2 acknowledges God as the source of reversal. The joy that God brings is not just an ordinary joy, but abundant joy, great joy. V.3 states the reason for rejoicing:  The yoke, the pole, and the rod, have been smashed.
  • 6. Reflections on the 1st reading       The reading should encourage those who feel they are living in the dark. They will soon see the light. The Lord will soon intervene in their lives. Sadness is not the last word. Cheer up. God is good. God speaks through the prophets and the people who cheer you up.
  • 7. Resp. Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14  R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.  1 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?  4 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.  13 I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
  • 8. Resp. Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14  R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.  1 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?  4 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.  13 I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. Commentary  In v.1, the psalmist speaks highly of God.  God calms all his fears.  In v.4, the psalmist desires to dwell and pray in God’s temple, where one can feel God’s presence.  In v.13, the psalmist expresses his hope to be benefited by God.  V.14 encourages patience and courage for those who wait for God’s salvation.
  • 9. Reflections on the Psalm We must acknowledge that God is our light.  We must know our priority: to seek God and to dwell in his place.  We must believe that one day God will pour out his blessings upon us.  We don’t give despair a chance. 
  • 10. 2nd reading: 1 Corinthians 1,10-13.17  10 I urge you, brothers, 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. 11 For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe's people, that there are rivalries among you. 12 I mean that each of you is saying, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Kephas," or "I belong to Christ." 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 17 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.
  • 11. 2nd reading: 1 Corinthians 1,10-13.17  10 I urge you, brothers, 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. 11 For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe's people, that there are rivalries among you. 12 I mean that each of you is saying, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Kephas," or "I belong to Christ." 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 17 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 focus is on the unity of Christians.
  • 12. 2nd reading: 1 Corinthians 1,10-13.17 A simple outline! Exhortation to unite  10 I urge you, brothers, 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. Report of rivalries  11 For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe's people, that there are rivalries among you. 12 I mean that each of you is saying, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Kephas," or "I belong to Christ." Hypothetical Questions  13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? Vocation of Paul  17 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.
  • 13. 2nd reading: 1 Corinthians 1,10-13.17 Exhortation to unite  10 I urge you, brothers, 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. Report of rivalries  11 For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe's people, that there are rivalries among you. 12 I mean that each of you is saying, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Kephas," or "I belong to Christ." Questions  13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? Vocation of Paul  17 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. Commentary  The reading is about Christian unity.  In v.10, Paul, the author and organizer of the Corinthian church, urges his brethren to be united, not divided.  The unity that is asked is oneness of mind and purpose.  V.11 states the cause of division.   V.12 explains further the problem:      Rivalry It is more of a fragmentation, not really rivalry, from the point of view of the text, because of the false sense of belongingness. In v.13, Paul puts back the divided Christians into order, by invoking the oneness of Christ. There is only one sense of belongingness. Every baptized Christian belongs to Christ, not to anyone else. Paul, Apollos and Kephas are just instruments of Christ.
  • 14. 2nd reading: 1 Corinthians 1,10-13.17 Exhortation to unite  10 I urge you, brothers, 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. Report of rivalries  11 For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe's people, that there are rivalries among you. 12 I mean that each of you is saying, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Kephas," or "I belong to Christ." Questions  13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? Vocation of Paul  17 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.  V.17 re-states the vocation of Paul.   Paul also baptized the people, but he states here his main purpose:        Not to baptize but to preach the gospel. (problematic) to evangelize. His method of evangelization is not like those who can speak very well. He speaks simply and plainly about Christ. His reason is to preserve the integrity of the cross of Christ. Eloquence can empty the meaning of the cross of Christ. Other preachers might have been trained to enunciate, to pronounce, to present the gospel so well that the method is appreciated better than the content itself, which is the cross of Christ. Good preachers may preach very well and are appreciated, but may not produce committed Christians, who can take up the cross.
  • 15. Reflections on the 2nd reading        To be a Christian, one must be focused on Christ. We do not focus on the persons who baptized and enlightened us, inspired us, sponsored us and brought us back to the fold. We do not idolize our charismatic groups, our religious affiliations, our committees or ministries or our priest-friends. What is important is to savor the reality that we now belong to Christ and that we can also take up our crosses. We now understand what evangelization and sacrifice are all about. Our baptism in Christ should unite us, regardless of who baptized, catechized, or helped us in our faith. Divisions and rivalries have no place in the Christian communities.
  • 16. Gospel reading: Matthew 4,12-23  12 When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: 15 "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, 16 the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen." 17 From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 18 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. 19 He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 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, 22 and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. 23 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.
  • 17. Gospel reading: Matthew 4,12-23  12 When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: 15 "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, 16 the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen." 17 From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 18 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. 19 He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 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, 22 and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. 23 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 focus is on call of the apostles.
  • 18. Gospel reading: Matthew 4,12-23 A simple outline! Fulfillment of prophecy  12 When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: 15 "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, 16 the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen." Call of the apostles  17 From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 18 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. 19 He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 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, 22 and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. Activities of Jesus  23 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.
  • 19. Gospel reading: Matthew 4,12-23 Fulfillment of prophecy  12 When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: 15 "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, 16 the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen." Commentary  Vv.12-16 provide the setting of the call of the apostles.  Setting:         John the Baptist’s arrest Jesus withdraws to Galilee Jesus leaves Nazareth Jesus lives in Capernaum in Zebulun and Naphtali, west of the Sea of Galilee. V.14 interprets Jesus’ movement as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in the 1st reading. V.15 describes this region as the way to the sea (of Galilee). The people in this area now see the light. They were sitting in darkness, overshadowed by death. What is this light?
  • 20. Gospel reading: Matthew 4,12-23 Call of the apostles  17 From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Peter and Andrew  18 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. 19 He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. James and John  21 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, 22 and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.  V.17 tells us what the light is all about:      Vv.18-22 describe the call of the 4 apostles. They are called in the context of Jesus’ preaching and in their own context of fishing. Vv.18-19 talk about the two brothers, Peter and Andrew, being called as they cast their nets. V.20 describes how they respond to the call.    Jesus’ preaching on repentance and the kingdom of God. At once, they leave their nets and follow him. Vv.21-22 talk about the other two brothers, James and John, in the boat mending their nets (finished fishing) V.23 describes how they respond to the call.  They immediately leave their boat and their father and follow him.
  • 21. Activities of Jesus  23 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.  V.23 states all the activities of Jesus.    Teaching in their synagogues Proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom Curing diseases and illnesses Capernaum Nazareth
  • 22. Reflections on the gospel reading      Jesus is here to bring the light. We, who want to see the light, will soon see the light. When we have seen the light, let us be ready to respond if we have a calling. When God calls us, he asks us to leave work and family behind. We become itinerant.
  • 23. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm  The first reading talks about the light in the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, where there was gloom.  The psalm acknowledges that God is light.  The second reading talks about Christian unity in Corinth, where there was rivalry and division. They should live in light.  The gospel reading talks again about the land of Zebulun and Naphtali, where now there is light.
  • 24. How to develop your homily / sharing Everyone wants to see the light.  The world teaches that light is having all the data you need to store in your memory.  The light is a solution to your technical problems. The light comes as a result of an accurate testing and diagnostics.  We, Christians, see light from a different level. 
  • 25.      The gospel teaches that the inhabitants of Zebulun and Naphtali now see the light. They were once degraded. With his light, Jesus eradicates their gloom and sadness, as prophesied in the first reading. Jesus preaches repentance “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” We see light insofar as we respond to Jesus’ preaching. We can never see the light if we are not converted, if we don’t follow Jesus.
  • 26. In the gospel, the 4 fishermen readily answer the call of Jesus to follow him.  No questions asked, they leave their nets, boats and parents right away and follow him.  As followers, they go where Jesus goes.  The enlightened disciples follow him and learn from what he says and does. 
  • 27.       The second reading teaches us, disciples, that we who have seen the light should not be divisive. To live in the light is to be focused on Christ. Light unites all believers. It does not encourage rivalries. It promotes the sense of belongingness to the community. If we sow discord (if we live in darkness), we empty the cross of Christ of its salvific value. We render the power of Christ ineffective.
  • 28.      The first reading teaches us that there is joy, when we see God’s light. We will know right away within our hearts when we have seen the light. There is an abundant joy in our hearts. There is a great rejoicing in our community. If we don’t have joy and cannot rejoice, we still have not seen God’s light.
  • 29.   We must believe that we have seen the light in our baptism and subsequently in the days of our formation, in our catechism class, and in the liturgy. The questions that we should ask are the following:  What have we given up?  How much time have we spent to listen to Jesus?  How much time do we give to share in his mission?  How faithful have we been in promoting unity among our ranks in the church?
  • 30. Refusal to be formed is a bad sign of discipleship.  It is unbecoming of a disciple.  Not listening to those who know better does not help in the nurturance of our faith.  Sowing intrigues, making comparisons which are always odious, exaggerations, ignorance of the church’s vision and mission are sources of division. (2nd reading) 
  • 31.    In this eucharist, Jesus comes again to us proclaiming repentance “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Without repentance, we cannot properly respond to the call of God and to participate in this eucharistic banquet. The eucharist is the sacrament of Christian discipleship and unity.
  • 32. Our Context of Sin and Grace       Religious intolerance Digital divide Gap between the rich and the poor Involvement in church based on loyalty to priests or to some church members Some church people sowing intrigues to divide the church. Kami kami, sila sila, barkadahan ministry (self-        Ability to follow Vocations Light Enlightening lectures and conferences Formation Integrator Works for unity serving ministries)  Utang na loob You can also read my article at the Sambuhay.
  • 33. Suggested Songs  Peace Prayer of St. Francis  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ8TGBB385c Make Me A Channel of Your Peace  My Light and My Salvation   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ekQdpjS4VA