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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time January 23, 2022

                                          Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 23, 2022

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Nehemiah 8:2-10; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4, 12-21


          Today is called World Religion Day on the Catholic Calendar, and it falls within the week of Christian Unity, a feast that originated from the Second Vatican Council. Prior to 1965, the Church defined itself in opposition to the Protestant churches for 400 years. Church teaching did not permit Catholics to associate with, to marry, or even to be present in Protestant Churches, but during Vatican II, the Church lifted its head and shifted its gaze away from seeing other Christians as adversaries, and it took its place in the world as custodians of religious tolerance and religious liberty. Church councils shifted from speaking about internal governance and it faced the world to speak to all people of goodwill. The church grew up and took its place as one who fosters dialogue and tries to understand the faith experiences of others.


         In the first reading, when Ezra the priest assembled the people after the return from exile and the re-establishment of the Temple, he stood at the podium, read from Scriptures, and announced a day of happiness because God’s word could be proclaimed in freedom. Jesus does something similar when he enters the Synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth. Word spread about the itinerant teaching of Jesus and now he returned home where he opened the Hebrew Scripture, read from Isaiah, and proclaimed that God’s news is available to all people.


         On this Day of World Religion, the Church professes a similar statement as it finds its place in the world of multiple religions and secularization. In the 1960s, the church realized it needed to begin dialogue with separated Christians in the Protestant and Eastern Churches, but it also had to reconcile with its two-millennial mal-treatment of the Jews. Much reconciliation and dialogue were essential aspects of the Catholic faith, and the church took a leading role of initiating processes of understanding with world religions. The church began to see itself as a mediator and partner with other faith traditions, that also included Shintoism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism.


The Church also looked at other people of goodwill who are seeking God, such as atheists and agnostics, and the Church is engaged with meeting them where they are. I have a quote from the Jesuit Superior General in his book “Walking with Ignatius of Loyola” about the Church’s engagement with secular society during the pandemic:


 “The Church is not opposed to secular society. We should open our doors and find ways to dialogue with the secular world. I believe that, more than a spike in religiosity, what is happening with the pandemic is that our experience of God is going deeper. Out of that, the meaning of community and communion could undergo a revival. We're moving away from a vision of the Church that could be called clerical, in which the visibility of churches or symbols like priests are paramount, towards one in which various forms of lived experience prevail. This should lead to a lessening of clericalism, which is an attempt to control and manipulate religion. This is where the pandemic is having a positive effect because it's making us ask questions that many of us were not asking before it.”


The church has an enormous task of proclaiming the Word of God to many groups of people, and at the same time, learning how to dialogue in a world of many beliefs. The dialogue will enrich our understanding of God’s presence in the world and will strengthen our faith. Our proclamation of God’s power will be seen in our maturity, our ability to welcome and to be compassionate, and through our good example of embracing the goodness of the world in which we live.


Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (2 Samuel 5) All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:
“Here we are, your bone and your flesh. In days past, when Saul was our king, it was you who led the children of Israel out and brought them back.


Tuesday: (Acts 2) Paul addressed the people in these words: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today.


Wednesday: (2 Timothy 1) I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day. I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, 
as I recall your sincere faith.


Thursday: (2 Samuel 7) After Nathan had spoken to King David, the king went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, Lord GOD, and who are the members of my house, that you have brought me to this point? Yet even this you see as too little, Lord GOD.


Friday (2 Samuel 11) At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign,
David sent out Joab along with his officers and the army of Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem.


Saturday (2 Samuel 12) The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him, Nathan said: “Judge this case for me! In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor. The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers. But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children.



Monday: (Mark 3) The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”

Tuesday: (Mark 16) Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.


Wednesday (Mark 4) “Hear this! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.


Thursday (Mark 4) Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.


Friday (Mark 4) This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.


Saturday (Mark 4) Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”


Saints of the Week


January 23: Marianne Cope (1838-1918), was a German-born woman who settled with her family in New York. She entered the Franciscans and worked in the school systems as a teacher and principal and she helped to establish the first two Catholic hospitals. She went to Honolulu, then Molokai, to aid those with leprosy.


January 24: Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor (1567-1622), practiced both civil and canon law before entering religious life. He became bishop of Geneva in 1602 and was prominent in the Catholic Reformation. He reorganized his diocese, set up a seminary, overhauled religious education, and found several schools. With Jane Frances de Chantal, he founded the Order of the Visitation of Mary.


January 25: The Conversion of Paul, the Apostle, was a pivotal point in the life of the early church. Scripture contains three accounts of his call and the change of behavior and attitudes that followed. Paul's story is worth knowing as it took him 14 years of prayer and study to find meaning in what happened to him on the road to Damascus.


January 26: Timothy and Titus, bishops (1st century), were disciples of Paul who later became what we know of as bishops. Timothy watched over the people of Ephesus and Titus looked after Crete. Both men worked with Paul and became a community leader. Timothy was martyred while Titus died of old age.


January 27: Angela Merici (1474-1540), was the founder of the Ursuline nuns. Relatives raised her when her parents died when she was 10. As an adult, she tended to the needs of the poor and with some friends, she taught young girls at their home. These friends joined an association that later became a religious order. Ursula was the patron of medieval universities.


January 28: Thomas Aquinas, priest and Doctor (1225-1274), studied in a Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino as a boy. He joined the newly formed Dominicans where he studied in France and Italy. He is a giant scholar. He wrote much on Scripture and theology, including his summation of theology (Summa Theologiae). He wrote several songs for liturgy, such as the Tantum Ergo, Pange Lingua, and Adoro Te Devote.


This Week in Jesuit History


·      January 23, 1789. John Carroll gained the deed of land for the site that was to become Georgetown University.

·      January 24, 1645. Fr. Henry Morse was led as a prisoner from Durham to Newgate, London. On hearing his execution was fixed for February 1, he exclaimed: "Welcome ropes, hurdles, gibbets, knives, butchery of an infamous death! Welcome for the love of Jesus, my Savior."

·      January 25, 1707. Cardinal Tournon, Apostolic Visitor of the missions in China, forbade the use of the words 'Tien' or 'Xant' for God and ordered the discontinuance by the Christians of the Chinese Rites.

·      January 26, 1611. The first Jesuit missionaries sailed from Europe for New France (Canada).

·      January 27, 1870. The Austrian government endeavored to suppress the annual grant of 8,000 florins to the theological faculty of Innsbruck and to drive the Jesuit professors from the university, because of their support of the Papal Syllabus.

·      January 28, 1853. Fr. General John Roothaan, wishing to resign his office, summoned a General Congregation, but died on May 8, before it assembled.

·      January 29, 1923. Woodstock scholastics kept a fire vigil for several months to prevent the Ku Klux Klan from setting the college on fire.


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