3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 26, 2020

3A20.   Isaiah 8:23-9:3.   “First the Lord degraded the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.”  Long ago the Assyrians had conquered the tribes of that region and carried them off as slaves.  God in turn conquered the darkness of their subjection with a great light.  “The yoke that burdened them,” “you have smashed.”  “You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing.” This is a prophesy that was also fulfilled at a much later time in Jesus.  Our psalm 27 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation.”

Matthew 4:12-23.  Jesus spent much time preaching and working miracles in Capernaum which is close to Zebulun and Naphtali.  Now that John’s ministry had ended because had been arrested, Jesus began his ministry announcing that for those who repent the gates of heaven are about to be opened.  The Israel of the Old Covenant is to be dispensed with and the new Israel with its New Covenant is to be established in the twelve Apostles who are to replace the old Israel of the twelve sons of Jacob.  Jesus went “proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.”  Though Jesus begins his ministry among the Chosen People, his new kingdom is meant for all peoples.  He is the light that takes away the darkness.

1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17.  “It has been reported to me” “that there are rivalries among you.”  “I urge you” “that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.”  Christ sent Paul “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.”  Paul is saying that in suffering and dying with Christ there is salvation that requires of us to surrender our own will and preferences for the common good of the Church.