Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Mass Readings - January 26, 2014 with Reflection

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: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as people make merry when dividing spoils. 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.
P S A L M - Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
R: The Lord is my light and my salvation.
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? (R) 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. (R) 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. (R)
2ND READING - 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
10 I urge you, brothers and sisters, 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 and sisters, 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 Cephas,” 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.
Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom and cured every disease among the people.
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.


One day, a compassionate king brought home to the palace a beggar whose right leg was amputated. He told the beggar, “I will give you everything you could possibly desire.” The king brought the beggar to the treasury and told him, “Take everything you can carry with your two hands.” Immediately, the beggar filled his hands with gold coins piled everywhere. Then the king told the beggar, “I still have something more to give, but to get it, you have let go of some of your gold coins.”

       The beggar saw that the king was hiding something behind his back. He thought that it must be so small to exchange it for some of his precious gold coins. So he shook his head. The king looked at him and sighed, “I wanted to give you this key to my treasury instead of just a handful of coins. But you would not let go of what you already had.”

       In today’s Gospel, we heard how Jesus called two pairs of brothers to become His first disciples. When He called Simon and Andrew, and then James and John, to become “fishers of men” instead of fishers of fish, “immediately they abandoned their nets” and followed Jesus.

       Those who decided to become disciples of Jesus had to let go of something first. They must have felt uneasy upon leaving behind everything, but they sensed that in giving up something, they would gain more.

       When we let go of things we consider precious and entrust them to God, we always end up as winners. But more often than not, we have difficulty in letting go of our resentments, unforgiveness, negative thoughts, self-pity, false guilt feelings. And the consequences are not compatible with our being followers of Christ. For example, the love of God, which has been poured into our hearts at baptism, remains cold and paralyzed. In order to have deep inner joy, we need to have the thoughts of God and the heart of God. And that means letting go of all that is not godly in our hearts and letting God take its place. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
REFLECTION QUESTION: To whom or to what are you overly attached?
Lord, You made me aware that I have difficulties in letting go — of persons, possessions, and, yes, of negative attitudes. Help me to get rid of these attachments so that I will be free to follow You.

Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops, pray for us.

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