Home  |  About Us  |  Contacts  |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Vatican
 Origins
 Africa
 Headlines
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 Facebook
 Twitter
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Vatican
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
.
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed,
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

.
  Word To Life


Sunday Scripture Readings, Jan. 23, 2011

By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service


January 23, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle A Readings:

1) Isaiah 8:23 to 9:1-3

Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14

2) 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17

Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23

There's been only one time in my life when I was in total darkness. It was so dark that I put my hand one inch in front of my face and could not see it, not even a shadow or an outline, nothing. I knew my hand was in front of my eyes because I could feel my breath hit the skin and because my brain had sent signals to my hand to raise it to this position. But these were the only indications. It was an eerie experience to have my eyes wide open and see absolutely nothing.

This occurred in a cavern beneath the earth's surface in Central Texas. The tour guide had instructed each of us to find a place to sit down, and we were strongly urged not to move around. Then he turned the lights out. Pitch dark. Wow.

The guide let us sit in the darkness for a minute or so, and then began to tell the story of creation from Genesis. When he got to the "let there be light" part of the story, a tiny sliver of light, like a white laser beam, pierced the darkness and landed on a rock formation.

This miniscule amount of light washed away the immense darkness. The power of light over darkness had never been so palpable to me.

This week's readings speak of another people in darkness who see a great light. Matthew's Gospel quotes Isaiah,Chapter 9: "The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen." Matthew says that Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy, that he is the Light that dispels the darkness.

The darkness that Jesus dispels is sin and death. His piercing light reveals our sin, just as that tiny beam allowed me to see my hand again. But his light does more than reveal. It heals, forgives and continues to shine upon us, leading us into everlasting light.

QUESTIONS:

Have you ever experienced total darkness? What was it like? How is sin like darkness? How is forgiveness and reconciliation like light?

SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:

"The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen" (Matthew 4:16).

END



Copyright © 2011 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS Word To Life column may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service.

Questions about this Web site. Send to cns@catholicnews.com.
Copyright © 2011 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250