Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, 22 Jan: Is 8:23-9:3; Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14; 1 Cor 1:10-13, 17; Mt 4:12-17 ~ live in harmony

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Sunday, as we join with Christians all over the world to honor the death and resurrection of Jesus, we pray that the journey to full unity may soon be complete.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening Prayer:

God of salvation, the splendor of your glory dispels the darkness of earth, for in Christ we behold the nearness of your kingdom. Now make us quick to follow where he beckons, eager to embrace the tasks of the gospel. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.

“Majesty / All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” – Maranatha Singers


A Reading from the Old Testament: Isaiah 8:23—9:3 (NLT)
[A prophecy of the time when the light of the world is to come, a prophecy fulfilled in Jesus.]

Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder.


A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14 (NLT)

The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.

Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

“The Lord is My Light” – Protestant Reformed Mass Choir


A Reading from the Letters: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17 (NLT)
[Paul appeals for Christian unity.]

St Peter and St Paul

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.”

Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not!

For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.

A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 4:12-17 (NLT)
[Jesus visits places on the fringes of Israel, just as the prophet Isaiah had foretold.]

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he left Judea and returned to Galilee. He went first to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. This fulfilled what God said through the prophet Isaiah:

“In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali, beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River, in Galilee where so many Gentiles live, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.”

From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

“The Lord is my light” – Taize


Intercessory Prayer:

The Lord is our light and our help! Lord, hear us.

+ For unity among all who follow Christ, we pray….
+ For harmony among nations and the defeat of violence, we pray….
+ For unity in our homes, our churches, our communities, and in our nation, we pray….
+ For our families and friends, Lord bless them and keep us close to each other, we pray….
+ For the gift of hope and light to all who feel abandoned and lost, we pray….
+ For the healing and strength of those who suffer in body, mind or spirit, we pray….
+ For eternal life for all who have died in Christ that they may behold your beauty in the heavenly Jerusalem forever….

O Lord, our light and our help, you refresh our hope and give us fresh heart: grant our prayers through Christ our Lord. Amen.

“Make Us One” – Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir



I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. – John 17:21

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen