Weekly Missionary Reflection
3rd Ordinary Sunday, 22 January 2023
Isa. 8:23b – 9:3; Ps. 27:1,4,13-14; 1Cor. 1:10-13,17; Matt. 4:12-23 (long) or Matt. 4:12-17 (short)
Dear beloved missionaries,
Jesus began His work in Zebulon and Naphtali which the Prophet Isaiah said as Galilee of the Nations. This area is entitled so for it is the area of disbelievers, the area of darkness. In the first reading of today, mass quoted from the Book of Isaiah and requoted in the Gospel of Matthew, Zebulon, and Naphtali are told as “Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.” This indicates that at the beginning of Jesus’ work, He had met and greeted the people in darkness. This could mean those possessed or those in adversity, having no way out, confused, weak, etc. Jesus didn’t first meet the people who were spiritually and materially secure. He was willing to come and stay with those who were upset, having heavy burdens and no bright future. Jesus came to them not for judging nor punishing instead, He came to bring light and save.
In carrying out His work, Jesus called and invited the modest people, fishermen, Simon and Andrew, and another two brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and John. The chosen disciples, both for His ministry and His partners, showed that Jesus cared for those treated unwell and sinners. Whenever we are in unfavorable conditions or feeling walking in the darkness, do not fear, as Jesus presents in such situations. He is meeting, greeting, supporting, and healing us. We are even called and invited to be engaged in His ministry.
Dear beloved missionaries,
Matthew summarized the work of Jesus’ ministry with three verbs: proclaiming, teaching, and curing. The first action of Jesus is proclaiming, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Jesus proclaims that the Kingdom of God is at hand, very close. The Kingdom of God is the reign of God. God has come and reigns, which is actually presented by Jesus Himself. Jesus is the revelation of the reigning God. The Prophet Isaiah prophesied that a great light had come, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone.” The proclamation of the Kingdom of God is followed by teaching. The teaching describes and explains the implications of proclaiming the Kingdom of God. The teaching of Jesus was then described more clearly in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7). The teaching is followed by the action of curing all kinds of diseases and weaknesses. This healing refers to the power of Jesus that brings real salvation.
For our reflection: How Jesus brings light to us? Where do we see that God’s power has changed our lives from darkness to the light of salvation? **(NW)
(RD. M Nur Widipranoto- National Director of Pontifical Mission Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of Indonesian Church of this month:
For the purpose of Universal Churches: The educators
We pray that educators may be credible witnesses, teaching fraternity rather than competition and helping the youngest and most vulnerable above all.
For the purpose of Indonesian Churches: Optimism and hope
We pray, may this new year be a time of grace, that encourages us to be optimistic, believe, and hope that the Spirit of God will guide and open our eyes to see opportunities and solutions in any adversities, problems, and challenges we are facing.