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Thursday, January 16, 2020

They Showed Us Extraordinary Hospitality


They Showed Us Extraordinary Hospitality

This liturgical year (Cycle A) which we started back in Advent, presents us with Gospel readings from St. Mathew’s Gospel during ordinary time. There will be some exceptions, like today, when the Gospel is taken from St. John’s Gospel.

Today, we hear John the Baptist’s witness account of the baptism of Jesus. We heard St. Matthew’s account of Jesus’ baptism last Sunday, so the Church must consider the event quite special, to give us two Sundays, focused on the same event, albeit from different perspectives. Last Sunday, the baptism was narrated from St Matthew’s perspective as narrator, and today, John the Baptist provides us with additional detail, like for example, John the Baptist adds that the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, remained on Jesus.

Although the pattern of Christian discipleship has the same general feature of continual conversion for all of us who have been baptized, each person’s experience of the love of God in Christ is unique. How can we like John the Baptist, witness to the unique presence of our loving Savior in our own life?

Perhaps one way is to pray and work for unity. Today, the Catholic Church along with the World Council of Churches begin a week of prayer for the unity of all Christians. Each year, we are reminded that Christ prayed that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21).

This year we’re invited to reflect with all Christians on the last days that Acts of the Apostles tells us about St Paul, especially the shipwreck on the island of Malta. The ship carried 276 people -mostly soldiers and prisoners. Their ship was wrecked on the island of Malta, where they waited for 3 months, until they could make their way to Italy in another ship. While in Malta, St Luke, author of Acts, writes, “The natives showed us extraordinary hospitality; they lit a fire and welcomed all of us because it had begun to rain and was cold (Acts 28:2).”

God bless, Fr. Carlos, OSA

 

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