Baptism of the Lord, Year A, January 12, 2020

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Full lections can be read here.


Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 42:1-9)

The Lord will send his chosen servant to bring about universal justice. Unnoticed, a new era will dawn as he opens blind eyes and sets captives free. A covenant will be made in him, the light of the nations. All glory to the Lord who has declared it so.

Psalm (29)

The Psalmist calls all heavenly beings to worship the Lord for his glory and strength, as seen in his voice shaking the very earth itself. All in his temple cry “Glory!” to the eternal king who sits above the flood. May he bless his people with strength and peace.

Second Reading (Acts 10:34-43)

Peter, his own eyes now opened, tells Gentiles associated with Cornelius that Jesus is Lord of all. While he began his mission among the Jews after John’s baptism, his resurrection shows he is Judge of all humanity and forgives anyone who believes in him.

Gospel (Matthew 3:13-17)

John the Baptist defers to Jesus as his superior, but Jesus insists on undergoing baptism to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus’ baptism culminates with his being anointed with the divine Spirit and the voice of God proclaiming him as his beloved Son.


  • Jesus assumes God’s role as Judge and Redeemer
  • All that came before Jesus witnesses to him
  • Jesus’ appearance marks the beginning of the time of God’s final Salvation
  • Jesus’ baptism moves the divine plan from the old covenant to the new
  • The person of John the Baptist is important but not as great as Jesus, to whom he bore witness
  • Jesus’ messianic ministry begins after his baptism by John
  • The combination of the humble and the majestic in the life of Jesus

Epiphany of the Lord, January 6, 2020, Year A

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.


Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 60:1-6)

Isaiah informs Israel that, while things are indeed dark at present, a dramatic change is coming. The glory of the Lord will so shine upon them that the nations will be attracted and bring gifts, including gold and frankincense, to a joyfully reunited and thriving Israel.

Psalm (72:1-7, 10-14)

The Psalm is a prayer for the king, that he may rule in justice and righteousness, defending the poor and crushing the oppressor. May the kings of the nations bring him tribute and gifts, bowing down and serving him. May he live forever!

Second Reading (Ephesians 3:1-12)

St. Paul speaks of the mystery, now revealed especially in his own apostleship, of how the Gentiles are to be included in the people of God. This was always God’s purpose in sending Jesus, to whom anyone at all can come by faith.

Gospel (Matthew 2:1-12)

Scholars from the East tell King Herod of another king whose birth was marked by a star. Following it to Bethlehem, they find and worship the child, giving him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Warned in a dream, they avoid a jealous Herod and start home.


  • The nations come to the King bearing gifts (no nation left behind)
  • The inclusion of the Gentiles in the plan of God
  • The time of fulfillment is breaking upon us with the birth of Jesus
  • The sheer enormity of the Christ-event
  • Gifts for a King?






First Sunday after Christmas, Year A, December 29, 2019

Please see How to Use Lection Connection.

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 63:7-9)

In Isaiah’s day things are not looking good for Israel and he reminds the nation of the Lord’s many past gracious acts to their ancestors. Alluding to their escape from Egypt, he emphasizes that salvation was gained through God’s very Presence with them.

Psalm (148)

The Psalmist exhorts the inhabitants of the heavens and the creatures of the earth, animate and inanimate alike, to praise their creator Lord. He has provided a mighty leader for his people and is deserving of their unqualified adulation.

Second Reading (Hebrews 2:10-18)

The writer of Hebrews emphasizes that Jesus, as the pioneer of our salvation, has become one of us, sharing our flesh and blood and our experience. This makes him fit to be both the sacrifice for sin and the faithful high priest to offer it on our behalf.

Gospel (Matthew 2:13-23)

Matthew tells how, under the direct guidance of God’s angel each step of the way, the holy family escapes Herod’s grasp by going down to Egypt and later returns to Israel. He draws attention to how all this resonates with the ancient experience of the nation.


  • The Lord is our protector and deliverer
  • Jesus embodies the history of Israel’s great salvation out of Egypt
  • The incarnation brings God fully into our reality and this brings us to God
  • The birth of Jesus is the result of divine action that extends from creation itself: he is the last piece of the puzzle