Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 26
God Relentlessly Beckons Us to Follow Him in Our Walk of Faith, to Become an Extension of Himself in the World in Which We Live Each and Every Day of Our Lives.
In today’s Responsorial Psalm, we hear the words, “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?” – words which strike at the heart of who we are as a God-fearing people, no matter what our faith persuasion may be.
The psalm speaks to us of a God who is our Light in the midst of darkness; the psalm speaks to us of God’s faithfulness to each of His children; and it speaks to us of the trust we are to have in His loving protection against all that would assail us.
With the Christmas season behind us, and the beginning of Lent only a few weeks away, today’s Scriptures afford us the opportunity of looking within ourselves and discerning our own walk of faith, and how we are answering our Lord’s call to a life of faithful discipleship, a call which He offers to each one of us. For it is our answer to His call which speaks volumes of our relationship with God and the trust we have in Him.
Today, as we reflect upon the place which God has in our lives, what does it mean for you and me to follow Christ in the society and the culture in which we live today? We do know that, just by listening to the news, there is a mindset in the world which prefers to ignore the moral teachings of our faith, a faith which laid the foundational stones so long ago for most of our world’s governments and cultures.
And in this mindset where Christianity is no longer appreciated or desirable in the hearts and minds of many of our world’s institutions of government, where those foundational stones were based upon the family institution and a moral climate conducive to a strong familial and spiritual growth, there is still a vast majority of Christian people throughout the world who earnestly desire to embrace the faith which they know gives their lives meaning, a faith which fills them with hope.
We hear in our Gospel Reading today how Jesus walked the shores of the Sea of Galilee and started selecting His first disciples, those “fishers of men” who would give witness to Jesus Christ, even at the risk of their own lives, in order to spread the message of the Eternal Light of the world who came to dispel our darkness, who came to teach us of God’s Love in a world which was under Roman domination, a government which controlled its territories and peoples through fear.
And this Eternal Light filled the hearts of these new Christians with hope. In this message of hope, our Lord taught them that this God of their fathers was not some distant God who remains aloof from His creation. Rather, He is a Loving Father who holds each of His children in the palm of His hand, a Father who intimately cares about each and every one of us.
But over the centuries, as man grew in his faith and came to know God better through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of man, in some instances, grew darker and divisions amongst the Christian peoples began to develop. And we see a small inkling of this tendency for division in Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians in our Second Reading:
“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.”
But divisions continued to grow over the centuries, until they are what we see today, where there is disunity in the Body of Christ amongst our Christian brethren, where many believe that one’s personal relationship with God has no viable place in politics, where the belief that marriage, in its complementarity between a man and a woman, is no longer sacrosanct, where the sanctity of new life in the womb is no longer considered safe and inviolable.
God’s moral laws and His Commandments are considered by many of those in places of authority to be archaic and no longer desirable or applicable in a world and a culture which has turned away from its God and has chosen, instead, to embrace the god of relativism – a way of thinking and behavior which minimizes sin to the point where guilt is no longer realized, and behavior of almost any form, as long as it does not violate the civil and criminal law of the land, is acceptable conduct.
Yet, in the midst of this darkness which surrounds us, the Eternal Light of God’s Truth continues to illumine the hearts of all those who choose to embrace the One True God and His teachings.
For those whose hearts are opened to God’s Loving Presence in their lives, the words from Isaiah take root, “Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness: for there is no gloom where but now there was distress. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”
And this “great light” is Jesus Christ, who dispels the darkness and removes our fear, for He is “my light and my salvation”. He is “my life’s refuge”.
Our Lord continues to call out to each one of us today saying, “Come after me.” He relentlessly beckons us to follow Him in our walk of faith, to become an extension of Himself in the world in which we live, becoming a light for others to see and follow, dispelling their darkness through our word and example.
It is for this reason that this Evangelization Apostolate of God’s Divine Love and Mercy was created – to bring the Light of God’s Love and His Truth to all who would receive it, so that, through the guidance and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, God’s Love would reach out to all those whose hearts are opened to and accepting of His grace, and guide them into a loving, holy and an intimate relationship with a God who calls each of us into oneness with Himself.
So that, by embracing God’s Presence within us, we too may always live the words of today’s psalmist, making his words our own, “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.”
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “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?” (Psalm 27:1)
- “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.” (John 15:8-9)
- “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” (John 15:16)
- “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.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
- “Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness: for there is no gloom where but now there was distress. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isaiah 8:23c–9:1a)
- “In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the one who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:11-12)
- “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility.” (Ephesians 2:13-14)
- “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
- “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 visit his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)
Prayer for the Day
“God our Heavenly Father,
hear our daily prayer
and let the radiance of Your Love
illumine our hearts and strengthen our faith.
“May the Light of Your Divine Presence within us
guide us in our service to our neighbor,
so that, with attention, reverence and devotion,
we may always reach out with selfless love
to each of our brothers and sisters,
giving You fitting praise and worship.
We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.”cf. Roman Breviary Psalter Prayer