Sunday January 22nd, 2017 Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
You can find the full readings here. This Lectio is based on the Old Testament reading, Isaiah 8:23 – 9:3.
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.
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.
glorified, anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness, abundant joy
The coming of Jesus Christ is described by the Apostle John as a light shining in darkness. Jesus came to lead us away from the darkness that envelops so much of the world and that whispers to each of us at times, “This is all there is, and there is nothing else.” But God’s call to us, the resounding call of the Gospel, is that God has entered into our world to bring us “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8).
A life in Christ is not a promise of good times and easy living. In fact, we are promised persecution and derision. But we are told to, “Count it all joy . . . when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2). It is a great mystery that in Christ, no matter our circumstances, can be found peace that “passes understanding” (Philippians 4:7). In Jesus, anguish has taken wing.
May we all place our trust in Jesus, the light of the world. And in looking at him — the author and finisher of our faith — may the darkness of this world fade away in his great light.