In darkness, we long for the light Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Hedglen   
Sunday, Jan 22, 2017

Third Sunday
in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 8:23-9:3
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
Matthew 4:12-23

In my work as the Catholic campus minister at a large state school, I spend a lot of time commiserating with college students about their futures.

Some come to the university with a definite plan. They know their major, the list and order of classes needed for their degree and what internships will best put them on track to reach their goals. But alas, such college students are the exception, not the rule.

According to National Center for Education Statistics, about 80 percent of students in the U.S. end up changing their major at least once and, on average, college students change their major at least three times over the course of their college career. Yet even among students who are certain about their choice of major, many often do not know what kind of career they want to pursue after college.

These major-changing nomads of the halls of higher education are very much like the people described in today’s Scriptures: a people walking in darkness, longing for the light, any light!

While dark and directionless times are hard and often longer than four years of college, there is nothing like the look on a student’s face when he or she finally has some peace regarding the direction for his or her life. It's as though this big, life-defining decision they have been waiting for, seemingly forever, has finally come and made a home within them.

I imagine it is this exact experience, taken to a transcendent level, that the first disciples felt when Jesus asked them to follow him. They had been waiting, not just for their whole lives, but with the entire nation of Israel, they had been waiting for centuries. They had wandered in spiritual darkness all this time and finally the Light had come.

When the darkness is so deep and has lasted for so long, the light is especially bright. It is this circumstance that fueled the scene in Matthew’s Gospel: “(Jesus) called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.”

Whether we are seeking direction in this life or directions to the next life, we all experience times of darkness, but as the psalmist says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?”

This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
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Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Pope's Prayer Intentions: January 2017 Print E-mail
Beginning in 2017, the Pope will present one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than two. A second prayer intention related to current events will be added each month. The urgent prayer request will mobilize prayer and attention to an immediate situation. We will add the second intention as soon as it is available.
January Prayer Intention

Christian Unity

That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and by collaborat­ing to meet the challenges facing humanity.

Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2017.

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

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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