Today is the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. In today’s Gospel of Saint Matthew (Mt 4:12-23), explains that what Isaiah prophesied has been fulfilled through the preaching and healing ministry of Jesus. By his ministry of inviting people to the Kingdom of God through repentance, Jesus has brought Light to peoples living in darkness, thus fulfilling God’s original promise. In addition, the Gospel describes the call of the first disciples (4:18-22), and Jesus’ own preaching, teaching, and healing ministry which has led people to repent of their sins and accept the Good News of God’s rule (the Kingdom of God). He has also chosen ordinary fishermen with no formal training in Mosaic Law to preach the Good News, and they have been very effective instruments in the hands of the Holy Spirit, continuing Jesus’ mission to the world.
Tomorrow, January 23, 2023, is the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion in the United States. Since 2011 at the direction of the American Bishops, Catholics in the United States have observed January 23 as a day of prayer and penance. The intention of our prayer is the full restoration and legal guarantee of the right to life. Our penance is for the violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion. Decide today that you will pray for this intention tomorrow, and what your personal sacrifice will be as well. Consider coming Tomorrow to the 8:15 AM Rosary and 9:00 AM Mass as part of your personal prayer for the protection of human life.
Also, we are in the midst of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This Week of Prayer began on Thursday, January 18th and will conclude this Thursday, January 25th, the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle. Jesus prayed at the Last Supper that all his followers would be one, with Him and with each other. Circumstances of history have brought great division to the Church and, although united in Christ and His Church through Baptism, these divisions among Christians continue into our day. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity gives us the focused opportunity to pray for unity of Christians. Please bring this intention to your personal prayer, especially during your prayers at Mass.
Thank you to all for your goodness and generosity to Saint Benedict the Abbot Parish.
God bless you
Father Jose Elias