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A Note on Today’s Readings – January 22, 2017

The Third Sunday after the Epiphany – Year A

First Reading: Isaiah 9:1-4
Second Reading: I Corinthians 1:10-18
Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23

Welcome to our parish. On the Sundays after the Epiphany, the liturgy continues to reveal ways in which Jesus was shown forth to be the Messiah in his ministry.  In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus calls his first disciples, at least two of whom he had met earlier. Taking them from their work as fishermen, he calls them to fish for people.

Matthew began his account of Jesus calling his Galilean disciples beside the sea by repeating the vision of Isaiah that salvation for all would begin there beside the sea.  Therefore, we have as our first reading that passage from Isaiah.

In today’s reading from I Corinthians, Paul addresses one of the problems plaguing the church in Corinth: disunity.  Here it is, the breaking of unity into little cliques, each claiming superiority because of who first preached the gospel to them: Paul, or his successor Apollos, or Cephas (Peter), or Christ. Paul appeals to them to overcome their divisions and to be united in Christ.

Jesus’ ministry was corporate rather than individual from its beginning.  His first act was to gather a community of believers that announced God’s plan to the people; united in trust in Jesus.  We also are part of that community. Each time we celebrate the Eucharist we are shown forth to be the extension of the incarnation of God’s Son into our own time and place.

From The Rite Light: Reflections on the Sunday Readings and Season of the Church Year. Copyright @2007 by Michael W. Merriman. Church Publishing Incorporated, New York.