Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A, 22nd January 2023

Jesus, Light of the World

Today’s readings on this Sunday of the Word of God proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, the light of the world: a beacon who draws all peoples to himself.

When the old tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali were being deported to Assyria, Isaiah promised that their land, then deeply overshadowed by turmoil and war, would one day witness a great light in their midst (First Reading).

In the Gospel, St Matthew sees the fulfilment of this prophecy. Jesus was, and is, that light. At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus settles in Galilee, a region that corresponds to the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali. After proclaiming the kingdom of heaven, it is striking that his first action is to call his first disciples. The task of witnessing to the kingdom is not something to be done by Jesus alone. Rather he calls followers to share in and continue this work. 

If we are to walk in the light of Jesus, Paul warns against tribalism, differences and division. Jesus alone is our light, not any of his followers. Paul’s own role is to be a preacher to the humble and to proclaim the counter-cultural message of the cross (Second Reading).

The Psalm is an eloquent prayer of trust, where the psalmist calls on the Lord as his light and his help.

This week, we may like to ask the Lord for that light and help in our own lives, and in the lives of all humanity. We pray that we might find ways of sharing his light and compassion with all whom we meet in our suffering world.

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