3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 22, 2023


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Word Sunday

Scripture Study

RCIA Seekers

According to Pope Francis

Sunday Micro Retreat


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RCL Benzinger

Catechist Background and Preparation
Primary Session
Intermediate Session
Junior High School

OPENING REFLECTION FOR THE 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

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RCL Benzinger
The theme for today is vocation. To begin, brainstorm with the young people what they think the world is most in need of today in order to make the world a better place. Write down their responses. Discuss:
  • What is the world most in need of today?
  • What can be done in response to the world’s needs?
  • How are you called to respond to the world’s needs?
Allow time for discussion. As Christians we are called to use our time and talents to build a better world. Sharing in Christ’s life and work is our vocation.


  • What is hopeful about the reading?
  • What have the people done?
  • What imagery does Isaiah use to uplift the people?


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RCL Benzinger
  • What did Jesus come into the world to do?
  • Why did the disciples follow Jesus?
  • How does Jesus call you to be a disciple?

CATHOLIC DOCTRINE FOR THE 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

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RCL Benzinger


The word “vocation” comes from the Latin word “vocare”, which means “to call.” Catholics believe that all people are called to share in God’s life. Jesus made it possible for us to share in the life of God. We are called to follow Jesus and work for goodness and peace in our world.
The gift of God’s life and love is a grace. This grace is lived out by our actions in the world. By our Baptism we are called to live lives of holiness.
Historically the term vocation has been used in the Church to describe the call to priesthood and religious life. In modern times, the teaching of the Church expands the understanding of vocation to apply to all believers. As Catholic Christians we are called to follow Jesus and use our God given gifts and abilities to serve God and others.
What is the vocation of all Christians?
What does it mean to be called to holiness?
What are some of the things you do that show that you are a follower of Jesus?
courtesy of
RCL Benzinger


A Light to the Nations

Video  | 1st Reading Psalm  | 2nd Reading | Gospel

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Who do you know that is wise? Who truly “enlightens” you?

Do you have a special knowledge of a practical skill? Do you have the knack that “enlightens” others? Write a self-help book! Writing such a “how-to” book is the surest way to get published, to become an “expert.” Practical knowledge can lead to fame and fortune in our society. In our busy world, we need such people to light the way!

With his arrest, the ministry of the Baptist along the Jordan dwindled as his followers formed communities (see Acts 12:1-7). Now, a new light arose. He assumed the message of John, but developed a different ministry style along the Sea of Galilee.

Children’s Reading | Catechism Link | Family Activity



3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) 

  1. In the 1st reading, Isaiah prophesies a time when those who historically bore the brunt of enemy oppression, will be the first to see “a great light” of deliverance. How might this translate to spiritual terms? Who is in the best position to recognize that they need a Savior?
  2. In the 2nd Reading, how do rivalries among believers impede the spread of the Kingdom of God? According to Saint Paul, what core message of the Gospel should we be focusing on?
  3. In today’s Gospel, how does Jesus react to John’s imprisonment?
  4. How had the land been “sitting in darkness” (verse 16, Isaiah 8:22—9:1)? What was Jesus’ message? What is the relation between repentance, the kingdom of heaven, and the light?
  5. What invitations does Jesus give to the fishermen? What seems unusual about their response? What prior knowledge of Jesus do you think they had (verses 13, 17; John 1:35- 42)? How might Zebedee (verse 21, 22) have felt?
  6. From how far away are the crowds coming (verses 23-25; refer to a Bible map)? What needs do they have? What are they learning about God’s kingdom?
  7. How has coming to know Jesus been like moving from darkness to light for you? In what ways does God’s kingdom seem present for you? In what ways does it seem “not yet”?
  8. Spiritually, are you still preparing the nets? Leaving the boat? Following hard after Jesus? Feeling left behind? What exactly does it mean to you to “repent”?


3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

SOURCE: Sunday Scripture Study for Catholics


Reign of God at Hand

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Matthew describes Jesus’s first preaching as occurring not in Jerusalem, the core of Jewish life, but in half-Gentile Galilee. Yet even there the kingdom/reign of God is right at hand—if people will open their hearts and change their lives at God’s call for them. And Jesus’s call is a radical one: the first disciples who respond abandon even their family and livelihood to follow his word of grace and healing.


  1. When did Jesus’s message first come alive inside you? How did it make you feel?
  2. How has responding to his message already begun to heal you?
  3. What are you afraid to leave behind as you answer his call?
  4. To which parts of our society does the church need to bring Christ’s message today?
Practice: Explore the Ignatian practice of the examen. (You can find information online.)  Unlike an examination of conscience, the examen begins with an exploration of concrete gratitude for one’s day, with an awareness of God’s grace and call at work.


According to Pope Francis…

Unfortunately, the content from this contributor will be momentarily paused next week as the Catholic Studies Center of Saint Louis University works to find a new webmaster. Please be patient.
SOURCE: Sunday Web Site – Saint Louis University


The Grace of….

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Sunday Micro Retreat

Take a weekly break from the business of life and enjoy a mini do-it-yourself Sunday Retreat. These retreats are based on Sunday’s reading and prompt reflection questions that you may want to think about. It is a good idea to keep a personal journal in which reflections that stood out for you are recorded. The outcome of those Sunday Micro Retreats is good material that you can talk about in your spiritual direction.



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