Saturday, February 02, 2013
4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
Jer 1:4-5,17-19 / Ps 71: 1-2. 3-4. 5-6. 15-17 / 1 Cor 12:31—13:13 / Lk 4:21-30
A word of Yahweh came to me, "Even before I formed you in the womb I have known you; even before you were born I had set you apart, and appointed you a prophet to the nations!" But you, get ready for action; stand up and say to them all that I command you. Be not scared of them or I will scare you in their presence! See, I will make you a fortified city, a pillar of iron with walls of bronze, against all the nations, against the kings and princes of Judah, against the priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but shall not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue you—it is Yahweh who speaks."
1 CORINTHIANS 12:31—13:13
Be that as it may, set your hearts on the most precious gifts, and I will show you a much better way. If I could speak all the human and angelic tongues, but had no love, I would only be sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, knowing secret things with all kinds of knowledge, and had faith great enough to remove mountains, but had no love, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I had to the poor, and even give up my body to be burned, if I am without love, it would be of no value to me. Love is patient, kind, without envy. It is not boastful or arrogant. It is not ill-mannered nor does it seek its own interest. Love overcomes anger and forgets offenses. It does not take delight in wrong, but rejoices in truth. Love excuses everything, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love will never end. Prophecies may cease, tongues be silent and knowledge disappear. For knowledge grasps something of the truth and prophecy as well. And when what is perfect comes, everything imperfect will pass away. When I was a child I thought and reasoned like a child, but when I grew up, I gave up childish ways. Likewise, at present we see dimly as in a mirror, but then it shall be face to face. Now we know in part, but then I will know as I am known. Now we have faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.
Then he said to them, "Today these prophetic words come true, even as you listen." All agreed with him, and were lost in wonder, while he spoke of the grace of God. Nevertheless they asked, "Who is this but Joseph's son?" So he said, "Doubtless you will quote me the saying: Doctor, heal yourself! Do here in your town what they say you did in Capernaum." Jesus added, "No prophet is honored in his own country. Truly, I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens withheld rain for three years and six months and a great famine came over the whole land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow of Zarephath, in the country of Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha, the prophet, and no one was healed except Naaman, the Syrian." On hearing these words, the whole assembly became indignant. They rose up and brought him out of the town, to the edge of the hill on which Nazareth is built, intending to throw him down the cliff. But he passed through their midst and went his way.
Jesus, known to be the son of Joseph the carpenter, must have been a bit of a mystery to those of his audience of today's gospel account of his preaching in the local synagogue. For some, he did have the reputation of a miracle-worker of sorts. In Capernaum there were some extraordinary things he did which the people knew about, but at the same time there was disappointment because he didn't seem to do anything extraordinary for his own town mates.
The gospel reading for today is actually a continuation of last Sunday's gospel narrative. Jesus had proclaimed to the people that he had a mission of "good news for the poor" which included such forms of liberation. Liberation for captives, liberation from blindness, liberation for those bound in any harmful way. For that, he said, the Spirit of the Lord had anointed him.
At first, according to today's gospel reading, his message seemed to be received favorably. But then the doubts crept in. If he could do that in other places – and indeed there were reports of some such happenings – why don't we who are his local neighbors see him doing such things here among us?
Perhaps the problem for the people was what we might call a spiritual "colonial mentality." Perhaps they were so conditioned in their hearts that they would be impressed only by an "imported" someone who is world-famous. But this Jesus is so local; he is the son of our carpenter Joseph.
When Jesus tried to soften their hearts and open their minds by recalling to them events that we can find in the Old Testament scriptures, the people were even more indignant. And in their rage they expelled their own countryman not realizing that the person they were expelling was actually greater than all the famous heroes of the past. With such an attitude in their hearts and minds there was no way that Jesus could break open for them the liberating message that was in his heart and mind.
The message and the challenge for all of us is often one of false expectations. And what our gospel narrative today recounts is something that plagued Jesus all his life, and it can plague our world today. The amazing truth is that the greatness of the Lord can come to us in the most humble and ordinary ways. The same Spirit that anointed Jesus can be present and active in the least of our sisters and brothers. The great Saint Benedict wrote in his rule that attention should be given to the ideas and opinions of the very least of the community members. The "lowest" of the brothers should be as much respected as the most senior. Saint Ignatius of Loyola prays that we will have the spiritual wisdom to try to find God present in all things.
Today's gospel reading is not just an account of what happened in that synagogue where Jesus was preaching in his time. Rather, it speaks to all our hearts and minds today. It suggests that we try to free ourselves of any "spiritual colonial mentality" so that we can be open to find God speaking to us in the most unexpected and humble ways.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Nick Lucena
- Chief Samrose Anyaugo; for protection and personal intentions of Dr Ugo Anyaugo, Oge Anyaugo,Barr (Mrs) adaugo Barbara Okoronkwo,Engr. Ifeanyi Matt Anyaugo, Chuba Anyaugo and Ezinne Cordelia Anyaugo
- Noel Raquel
- Mon Torres
- Fleur Torres
- Agustina Fallaria
… for the personal intentions of
- Emma Quicho
- Maria Joshell
- Josheil Dapo
- Gloria Dorsey
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Edna D. Fundan
- Gaspar C. Guevara
- Primitivo Atillano
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: James Dee
- Birthday: Aurea G. Pe
- In Memoriam (+): Beatriz G. Lu
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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