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Full lections can be read here.
Based on the Readings as Set
First Reading (Isaiah 9:1-4)
Isaiah, speaking at a time of great distress, declares that Galilee, although dominated by Gentiles and held in contempt, will be first to experience the glorious light of God’s liberation. It will be like the outnumbered Gideon’s utter defeat of a powerful enemy.
Psalm (27:1, 4-9)
The Psalmist declares his trust in the Lord who is his light and salvation and in whose presence he hopes to dwell concealed from his enemies. There, he will be sure to rise above them and be safe, if only the Lord will grant him a hearing.
Second Reading (1 Corinthians 1:10-18)
Paul exhorts the Corinthians to live in the unity of the one in whose name they have been baptized. He himself is but a servant who was sent by Christ only to preach the message of the cross that, although seemingly foolish, actually saves by God’s power.
Gospel (Matthew 4:12-23)
Matthew tells us that when Jesus withdrew to Galilee, a region long under a Gentile cloud, he was fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy. There he begins to assemble his tiny band of disciples and through him God’s kingdom blessings begin to break out in the darkness.
- God can use a few to accomplish amazing things
- It is never us but “God in us” that furthers his mission in the world
- The Lord is not indifferent to our times of distress and will act when it is best to do so
- The Lord often chooses the “least” for his purposes
- The Lord is made manifest in the changes for good that he brings about