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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflections for January 22

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

January 22, 2017 —Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 4:12-23
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

Many years ago a ship’s captain saw what looked like the lights of another ship headed toward him. He had his signalman blink the message: Change course 10 degrees north. A message blinked back: Change your course 10 degrees south. The captain answered: I am a captain. Change your course. Back came the reply: I am a seaman. Change your course. This infuriated the captain, who signaled: Idiot! Change your course north. I am in a battleship. Back came the reply: Change your course south. I am in a lighthouse.

Today’s Gospel shows how, in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, Jesus came as a “great light” shining on a world overshadowed by death. Just as a lighthouse can guide sailors safely home, so Jesus, the Light of the World, came to guide us safely home to heaven. His light shines out in the words: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

In today’s Gospel, he calls the first apostles, Peter and Andrew, James and John. He is establishing his Church to bring light to the world until the end of time. As members of his Church, as Catholics, we must see Jesus and his light in all we believe, say, and do. Our faith is in Jesus. Everything points to him and proclaims him.

We memorize the commandments and keep them because Jesus said they must be observed if we want to enter heaven. We attend Mass because Jesus asked us to do this in his memory, and because he give us himself in Holy Communion. We celebrate the sacraments because Jesus is the one who baptizes, sends the Holy Spirit at confirmation, and forgives our sins in confession. Jesus is the one who joins husband and wife in marriage. Jesus gives healing in the anointing of the sick. Jesus calls men to the priesthood as he called the apostles.

As Catholics, we don’t fight against the light. We follow Jesus as he shines forth in the Church. We trust him to guide us safely home.

Read last week's reflection.