Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
F1. In the alternative reading, God says, ”here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased.” Then in the Gospel a voice came from heaven, saying to Jesus, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” What are the implications?
F2. Wastelands, deserts, rugged land and rough country (Isaiah 40). Could these words describe terrorism in our world today? Election politics? Your spiritual life? Does this reading suggest that there is help in fixing these or do we/you just have to accept it?
Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7
S1. In the reading from Acts, Peter is quoted as saying this about Jesus: “He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil.” Compare this with Isaiah in the First Reading: “I formed you … to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.”
S2. Did we do anything to earn salvation? Why does God give it to us? What does St. Paul in his letter to Titus say about the extravagance of God’s gift to us?
Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
G1. John the Baptist was the middleman. He pointed back to Isaiah and forward to Jesus, connecting the whole plan. What or who are the “middlemen or women” who connect you with God? Can you serve as a middle-one?
G2. At one of his weekly General Audiences Pope Francis explained that our Baptism “is the point of departure for a journey of conversion that lasts our whole life.” His “glimmers of light” signify the light of Christ that enlightens every person. Can you receive “the light of faith” for your brothers and sisters? Can you be a light for someone in darkness?
The star appearing in the sky kindled in their minds and in their hearts a light that moved them to seek the great Light of Christ. Baptism illuminates us from within with the light of Jesus. … In virtue of this gift, the baptized are called to become “light”––the light of the faith they have received for their brothers, especially for those who are in darkness and do not perceive glimmers of light on the horizon of their life. … You must take the grace of Baptism that is a gift, and become light for all!
Pope Francis: Take the Grace of Baptism and Become a Light for All
November 13, 2013
**From Saint Louis University