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CN 3 TN A: Time to Begin

Matty, believes he should be a soul winner for Christ. In the parish Bible class he has learnt how to share his faith with people and lead them to Christ. But he has never done it. Matty prays to God to give him a sign so that he would know exactly when to start. One day Matty is travelling in the subway to meet his Bible study friends. He has his Bible in his handbag. A young man about his own age enters the train and sits next to Matty. He wears a T-shirt with the slogan, “who has the most toys wins.”

 

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: Leaving Home

John W. Martens

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), Jan. 26, 2014

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1)

The Gospel of Matthew sets the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in a particular historical context: Jesus began his mission only after the arrest of John the Baptist. It was time. But in moving from his home in Nazareth to Capernaum, in the ancient territory of Naphtali, Matthew also sets Jesus’ ministry in the geographic and prophetic context of the prophet Isaiah.

CN 1 TN A: The RICE of Baptism

In Nigeria the baptism of a child is usually followed by a happy reception where children are sure to eat one thing, rice. As a result, the baptism dress is sometimes referred to as your rice dress. Thinking of baptism easily makes people think of rice. And sometimes when you are talking of the rites of baptism, all they hear is the rice of baptism. Though the connection between baptism and rice is altogether accidental, one can utilise it as a memory aid for the meaning of baptism.

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time A: The ‘Lamb’ of God

John W. Martens

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (A), Jan. 19, 2014

“Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn 1:29)

John the Baptist has not just one of the greatest roles in salvation history, but one of the great lines in the Bible. The day after John baptized Jesus, “he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” The sacrificial image draws on rich symbols from the Old Testament, but since the phrase “lamb of God” appears only in the Gospel of John, does it reflect John’s creation of this descriptive metaphor for Jesus? Possibly.

1st Sunday in Ordinary Time: ‘Baptized by You’

John W. Martens

 “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17)

Why did Jesus need to be baptized? It was a delicate issue for the earliest Christians, as one can see in Matthew’s baptism account, in which “John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’” One of the sensitivities was that long after Jesus’ death and resurrection, there were still followers of John the Baptist. The Acts of the Apostles (18:25) tells us that Apollos, when he met the Apostle Paul, “knew only the baptism of John.”

CN 2 TN A: The Greatness of John the Baptist

A kite was consumed by envy of the eagle. “How come he can fly so high? Everyone admires him and no one admires me.” One day the kite sees a hunter and calls out to him to shoot the eagle. The hunter replies that he would need to add some feathers to his arrow for it to reach the eagle. The kite pulled one of his best feathers and gave it to the hunter.

ANOINTING, REMAINING, AND GROWING

"Remain in Him as that anointing taught you." —1 John 2:27

On the inside front cover of this booklet is the Rescript, the Catholic Church's Permission to Publish. Before One Bread, One Body is printed, the Church reviews this booklet to ensure it is free of doctrinal or moral error. When the booklet is error-free, "free from any lie" (1 Jn 2:27), the Church grants Permission to Publish. (Until recently, Permission to Publish was called the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur.) At Presentation Ministries, remaining safely under Church authority is how we remain in Jesus as the anointing of the Holy Spirit taught us (1 Jn 2:27).

St. John says that if the anointing you received from Jesus remains in you, then "you have no need for anyone to teach you" (1 Jn 2:27). Then why read this booklet?

  • We are imperfect vessels and we leak (see Jer 2:13). We need to be constantly re-filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • We must devote ourselves to the teaching of the Church and study the Scriptures daily (Acts 2:42; 17:11), both of which help us grow (Acts 20:32).
  • Faith comes through hearing the Word of God (Rm 10:17). If we don't increase in faith, how can we be sure we will remain in Him? This booklet proclaims God's Word to increase our faith.
  • Like the early Church, we must be devoted to spreading God's Word (Acts 6:7) and feeding His sheep (Jn 21:17).

"Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ" (Catechism, 133). If we're ignorant of Him, we cannot "remain in Him" (1 Jn 2:28). Read God's Word daily, and remain in Jesus.

Prayer: Jesus, keep me faithful to Your teaching and never let me be parted from You.

Promise: His "promise is no less than this: eternal life." —1 Jn 2:25

 

Praise: By the power of the Holy Spirit, St. Basil protected his diocese from heresy.

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