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Sunday, January 23, 2011

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3rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 8:23—9:3
1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
Matthew 4:12-23

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the light fantastic

"First He degraded the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali." —Isaiah 8:23

"The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali" were degraded. We also see large areas in our society which are degraded. The physical degradation of our slums is obvious; the moral degradation in our suburbs is not as noticeable but nonetheless devastating.

Isaiah prophesied that degradation would be turned into glorification. Anguish, darkness, gloom, and distress would be displaced by "a great light" (Is 9:1). Jesus, the Light of the world (Jn 8:12), is the only One Who can transform degradation into glorification. He does this by calling us to repent (Mt 4:17) and follow Him (Mt 4:20, 22). When we walk in the light as He is in the light (1 Jn 1:7), we become the light of the world (Mt 5:14; see also Phil 2:15). We become like the moon reflecting the light of the sun, although we are much brighter than the moon because Jesus, the Son of God, is much brighter than the sun. Isaiah prophesied: "The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater [like the light of seven days]" (Is 30:26).

Therefore, "rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears His glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance" (Is 60:1-3). Millions living in degradation await for our repentance and commitment to Jesus. Repent and follow Him immediately.

Prayer:  Father, may I "possess the light of life" (Jn 8:12).

Promise:  Jesus "taught in their synagogues, proclaimed the good news of the kingdom, and cured the people of every disease and illness." —Mt 4:23

Praise:  Praise You, risen Jesus, Light in the darkness (Is 9:1), Light of the World (Jn 8:12). Glory to You forever!

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010

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