Cycle A 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Zeph. 2:3; 3:12-13; 1 Cor. 1:26-31; Mt. 5:1-12

Today's First Reading from the Book of Zephaniah [Zeph. 2:3; 3:12-13] suggests that if the humble seek to obey the commands of the Lord, seeking righteousness and humility on the Day of Judgment, they will be hidden from the wrath of the Lord. Because of their simplicity, their humility, their righteousness, the Lord God will go easy on them.

The First Reading continued by stating, "For I will leave in the midst of you a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord...; they shall do no wrong and utter no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths. Then they will pasture and lie down, and no one shall make them afraid." [Zeph. 3:12-13]

These two verses perfectly describe those who have consecrated their lives to the Lord. Humble and lowly, detached from the world, dedicated towards serving others. Relying heavily upon God in making their decisions, they know that the grace

Cycle A 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Is. 8:23-9:3; 1 Cor. 1:10-13, 17-18; Mt. 4:12-23

In the first reading, Isaiah pumps up our hope of his people. This hope stems from the fact that the Lord God Himself chose to be our light. It is a message of deliverance from the power of darkness that formerly enveloped and harassed us. Isaiah declared: “The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in the land of deep shadow a light has shown.” 

In the gospel, the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled through the action of Christ. His presence made a great difference in the life of the people of Capernaum as well as those of neighboring towns of Zebulun and Naphtali. He brought light into their hearts and region. His light was strongly felt because it brought healing and deliverance. Many came to hear the message of Jesus, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." [Mt. 4:17] They followed Jesus wherever He went. When Jesus preached, they sat and listened carefully to every word that He said.

The Gospel also gives the account of Jesus calling his first disciples. “As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he

Cycle A 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Is 49:3, 5-6; I Cor 1:1-3; Jn 1:29-34

There are many signs in nature that foreshadow the natural events. When the Scarlet Pimpernel opens people know that the weather will be sunny; when it closes tightly rain is expected. So, this flower has been called the "poor man’s weather glass". When the petals of the Morning Glory open it indicates fine weather, and the shut petals predict rain and bad weather.

Dust storms are common in desert areas. When strong winds pick up large amounts of loose sand, and travel on the horizon looking like a solid wall of debris and dust the desert dwellers know that there is an impending dust storm. When there is large thunderhead clouds and wind picks up, people expect a thunderstorm.

There was a great turmoil in the desert of Jordan raised by a man who lived there, John the Baptist.  In the Jordanian desert very few plants grow. Very few animals live there. It has bad soil. The soil has chalk in it. Stones and rocks cover the ground. Still, multitudes of people crossed it. They went to see the new prophet, John the Baptist, who began his work suddenly. There had been many prophets since Moses. The Jews knew this. But after the time of Malachi, no prophet had