Thursday, January 6, 2011

JANUARY 6 (Before Epiphany)


JANUARY 6

If the Epiphany is celebrated on Sunday, January 7 or 8, the following
readings are used for the Mass on January 6.



Readings and Commentary:
[i][ii]

FIRST READING
1 John 5:5-13

Beloved:
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
This is the one who came through water and Blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and Blood.
The Spirit is the one who testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.
So there are three that testify,
the Spirit, the water, and the Blood,
and the three are of one accord.
If we accept human testimony,
the testimony of God is surely greater.
Now the testimony of God is this,
that he has testified on behalf of his Son.
Whoever believes in the Son of God
has this testimony within himself.
Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar
by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son.
And this is the testimony:
God gave us eternal life,
and this life is in his Son.
Whoever possesses the Son has life;
whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life.
I write these things to you so that you may know
that you have eternal life,
you who believe in the name of the Son of God.
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Commentary on
1 Jn 5:5-13

St. John’s first letter fully prepares us for the Baptism of the Lord which approaches. His reference to “Water” is a reference to the Lord’s Baptism. The “Spirit” is a reference to the Holy Spirit descending upon the Lord as he came out of his baptismal bath. Finally he refers to Blood which is a symbol of the Cross. In that event also was God’s own testimony about the identity of his Only Son (
Matthew 3:16-17). St. John’s logic in this passage teaches that if one does not believe in Jesus as the Son of God, they call God a liar because he testified to the identity of His Son.

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RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20

R. (12a) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or
R. Alleluia.

Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or
R. Alleluia.

He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or
R. Alleluia.

He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
or
R. Alleluia.
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Commentary on
Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20

Psalm 147 is a hymn of praise. In these strophes the singer celebrates God’s gifts to his people; the gift of faith to the patriarch Jacob and the gift of his presence in the holy city Jerusalem.

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GOSPEL
First Option
Mark 1:7-11

This is what John the Baptist proclaimed:
"One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water,
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee
and was baptized in the Jordan by John.
On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open
and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens,
"You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
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Commentary on
Mk 1:7-11

St. John the Baptist announces the coming of the Messiah who will transform the people through, not simply repentance, but by placing a new spirit within them (cf.
Ezekiel 36: 24-28). The passage then provides the short description of Jesus’ Baptism. The descent of the Holy Spirit and the proclamation by God that Jesus is his son confirms St. Johns announcement and establishes Christ’s divinity.

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OR Second Option
Long Form
Luke 3:23-38

When Jesus began his ministry he was about thirty years of age.
He was the son, as was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli,
the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi,
the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias,
the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli,
the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias,
the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda,
the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel,
the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi,
the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam,
the son of Er, the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer,
the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,
the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph,
the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea,
the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan,
the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed,
the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon,
the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Ami,
the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,
the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham,
the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug,
the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber,
the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad,
the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared,
the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos,
the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
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Commentary on
Lk 3:23-38

The genealogy of Jesus in St. Luke’s Gospel differs from the account in St. Matthew significantly. “Whereas
Matthew 1:2 begins the genealogy of Jesus with Abraham to emphasize Jesus' bonds with the people of Israel, Luke's universalism leads him to trace the descent of Jesus beyond Israel to Adam and beyond that to God (Luke 3:38) to stress again Jesus' divine sonship.”[iii]

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OR Short Form
Luke 3:23, 31-34, 36, 38

When Jesus began his ministry he was about thirty years of age.
He was the son, as was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli,
the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha,
the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse,
the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala,
the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin,
the son of Ami, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez,
the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac,
the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem,
the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Enos,
the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
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Commentary on
Lk 3:23, 31-34, 36, 38

In the shorter form of the genealogy of Jesus a number of generations are omitted. Included are the significant touch points in Hebrew history linking Jesus with David through Jesse, Abraham with Jacob and Isaac, and Noah. Like the Longer form, the list concludes with Adam.

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Reflection:

No reflection has been written as of this posting as this option has not yet occurred during the years SOW has been in existence.

Pax



[i] The readings are taken from the New American Bible with the exception of the Psalm and its response which were developed by the International Committee for English in Liturgy (ICEL). This re-publication is not authorized by USCCB and is for private use only.
[ii] The picture is “Baptism of Christ” by Guido Reni, c. 1623
[iii] See NAB footnote on Luke 3:23-38

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