A great light overcomes the world’s darkness Print
Sunday scripture column
Written by Jem Sullivan, Catholic News Service   
Tuesday, Dec. 03, 2019 -- 8:37 AM
Sunday, Jan. 26
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

1) Is 8:23-9:3
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
2) 1 Cor 1:10-13, 17
Gospel: Mt 4:12-23 or 4:12-17

Michelangelo Merisi, known to the world as Caravaggio, was a celebrated painter of his generation.

He lived in the late 16th century and completed some 40 masterpiece paintings during his young and troubled life. He would exert considerable influence on an entire generation of artists who followed in the new Baroque style.

Caravaggio painted Gospel scenes with his characteristic use of light and shadow, a painting technique called "chiaroscuro," or tenebrism. He bathed his subjects in bright shafts of warm, golden light set against backgrounds of deep shadowy darkness.

Through sharp contrast of light and darkness the master Baroque painter evoked the spiritual drama of interior conversion at the heart of the Gospel and of every Christian life. His masterpiece, The Calling of St. Matthew, shows Jesus radiating divine light as he calls the tax collector to be his disciple.

And his dramatic painting of the conversion of St. Paul, whose feast the Church celebrates January 25, shows the young, murderous Saul on the road to Damascus. A beam of golden light radiates around Saul at the dramatic moment when he is thrown to the ground while his horse and frightened companion fade into a curtain of deep velvet darkness.

The theme of light and darkness has permeated the Scripture readings from the beginning of Advent through the Christmas season. This Sunday, the image of divine light that overcomes the world's darkness shines into Ordinary Time. This biblical theme keeps before our eyes the Incarnation celebrated at Christmas and Epiphany, that great mystery of faith by which we strive to live each ordinary day.

Jem Sullivan is a professor at The Catholic University of America.

Pope's December Prayer Intention Print
In 2019, the Pope will present one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than two.
Pope's December Prayer Intention
The Future of the Very Young
That every country take the measures necessary to prioritize the
future of the very young, especially those who are suffering.


Daily Scripture Readings Print
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Holy Days of Obligation Print

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2020.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Wednesday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 21
Ascension Thursday
Saturday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Sunday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Tuesday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Friday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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