Gospel reflections – Sunday, January 23rd

Isaiah 8:23-9:3; 1Cor 1:10-13, 17; Matthew 4: 12-23

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light.” 

What a beautiful line found in the Isaiah reading and quoted in Matthew’s gospel!  The image of the risen Christ as a light in the darkness of a world damaged by sin and as a light within the uncharted depths of ourselves echoes throughout the gospels, no more beautifully than in the prologue of John’s gospel.

What I’d like to direct your attention towards are the areas just at the periphery of the Light.  It might help to imagine a darkened bedroom with a separate bathroom attached but separated by a door from the rest of the space.  If you turn on the light in the bathroom but leave the door only slightly open (this is a technique I have mastered in an effort not to wake up my wife in the morning) you get just enough light by which to navigate. It’s difficult, however, to make out particular objects in the room with great clarity.

So, for a moment, imagine that light of Christ glowing brightly at the core of your being. (It might help if you imagine your heart filled with this light, glowing like a lantern).  As you look around in this inner space, what can you barely make out at the edges of this Light?  Is there a hope or a dream you’ve almost forgotten about?  A fear which has such a hold on you precisely because you haven’t named it? A quiet joy which is there, everyday, making your life more wondrous, so omnipresent you’ve been taking it for granted lately?

Look closely.  Don’t be afraid.  Whatever is being illuminated by the light of Christ at this particular moment is likely something the Spirit wants you notice. 

 What are you seeing by the holy Light within you?

Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)

(To read my book length reflections on the scriptures, go to www.twentythirdpublications.com.  My latest book is entitled Make Room for Scripture.)

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