January 2014 – Epiphany
January 5, Matthew 2:1‑12
God’s universal gift of salvation
The wise men found their way to Jesus by following a star that gave great light. On today’s Feast of the Epiphany, we celebrate that God’s loving gift of salvation is for all people. We recognise that Jesus, the light of the world, was made visible to the magi who searched for him. We celebrate that God’s saving love is offered to all people.
In the Gospel, the wise men from the east find the Christ child by following the light of a star. These magi are foreigners, travellers from a different country. They are Gentiles who have never learned about the Law or the prophets. However, they find their way to Jesus and honour him. The wise men follow a star, which leads them to Jesus Christ, the light of salvation.
- What is the greatest gift that God has given you?
- Why did God give us the gift of Jesus?
- How can you thank God for the gifts that you have been given?
January 12, Matthew 3:13‑17
Baptism and mission
At baptism, we become members of our Church family. The baptism of Jesus shows his humanity. After Jesus is baptised, he begins his public ministry. Today’s Gospel helps us understand the meaning of the sacrament of baptism for all Christians.
This section of Matthew’s Gospel presents the baptism of Jesus. Jesus comes to John to be baptised. John questions Jesus at first because he thinks that Jesus should be the one baptising him. Jesus tells John to baptise him in order to fulfil what he has come to do. When Jesus comes up from the water, the heavens open and Jesus is revealed as God’s Son, the beloved.
- What do you know about your baptism?
- How does the Church show how much it cares for its new members?
- How do you live as a member of the Church family?
January 19, John 1:29‑34
The identity of Jesus
We find many names and titles for Jesus in the Bible. The names for Jesus help us to understand the truth about who Jesus is. God made a special promise to send a Saviour. We believe God kept his promise by sending his Son, Jesus. In the Gospel today, we find clues about who Jesus is. Jesus is given the titles: “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” and “God’s Chosen One.” These names teach us the truth about Jesus. The names for Jesus found in today’s Gospel show that Jesus was sent by God.
- What was God’s special promise?
- Why was Jesus sent to live with us?
- How do the names for Jesus found in the Bible help to show us who Jesus is?
January 26, Matthew 4:12‑23
In today’s Gospel, Jesus begins his ministry of love and service to others. Jesus’ first followers are fishermen. Jesus calls them to come and follow him. They put their nets away and follow Jesus.
Jesus invites his new friends to become fishers of people. Many people become followers of Jesus. They join Jesus as he preaches, heals and works miracles throughout the land.
Jesus chose to share his life and work with those whom he called his disciples. Today, Jesus calls us to be disciples too. We are called to love and serve others.
- Where does Jesus find the fishermen?
- How does Jesus call his first followers?
- What does Jesus go on to do?
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