February 5, 2023 

FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

ISAIAH 58:1-9a [9b-12]; PSALM 112:1-9[10]; 1 CORINTHIANS 2:1-12 [13-16]; MATTHEW 5:13-20

Light shines in the darkness for the upright, the psalmist sings.   Isaiah declares that when we lose the bonds of injustice and share our bread with the hungry, the light breaks forth like the dawn.  In another passage from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus, the light of the world, calls his followers to let the light of their good works shine before others.  Through baptism we are sent into the world to shine with the light of Christ.

FEBRUARY 12, 2023 

SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

DEUTERONOMY 30:15-20; PSALM 119:1-18; 1 CORINTHIANS 3:1-9; MATTHEW 5:21-37

In today’s reading from Deuteronomy, we are called to choose life by loving and obeying God.  Much of today’s gospel reading echoes portions of the Ten Commandments.  Jesus’ instructions to the crowd reveal a pattern of behavior that honors both God and the neighbor, resulting in life and health for the whole community.  We too are invited to embrace these commandments, not out of fear of retribution, but because God has promised that to do so means life for us.

FEBRUARY 19, 2023 

TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD; LAST SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

EXODUS 24:12-18; PSALM 2; 2 PETER 1:16-21; MATTHEW 17:1-9

Today’s festival is a bridge between the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany cycle that comes to a close today and the Lent-Easter cycle that begins in several days.  On a high mountain Jesus is revealed as God’s beloved Son, echoing the words at his baptism.  The vision of glory sustains us as Jesus faces his impending death in Jerusalem.  We turn this week to Ash Wednesday and our yearly baptismal journey from Lent to Easter.  Some churches put aside the alleluia at the conclusion of today’s liturgy.  This world of joy will be omitted during the penitential season of Lent and will be sung again at Easter.

FEBRUARY 26, 2023 

FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT

GENESIS 2:15-17; 3:1-7; PSALM 32; ROMANS 5:12-19; MATTHEW 4:1-11

Today’s gospel tells of Jesus’ temptation in the desert.  His forty-day fast becomes the basis of our Lenten pilgrimage.  In the early church Lent was a time of intense preparation for those to be baptized at the Easter Vigil.  This catechetical focus on the meaning of faith is at the heart of our Lenten journey to the baptismal waters of Easter.  Hungry for God’s mercy, we receive the bread of life to nourish us for the days ahead.