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Fourth Sunday of O.T. 

 

Living Out the Gospel Message


 

Reading 1 Jer 1:4-5, 17-19

The word of the LORD came to me, saying:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you.

But do you gird your loins;
stand up and tell them
all that I command you.
Be not crushed on their account,
as though I would leave you crushed before them;
for it is I this day
who have made you a fortified city,
a pillar of iron, a wall of brass,
against the whole land:
against Judah’s kings and princes,
against its priests and people.
They will fight against you but not prevail over you,
for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15-17

R. (cf. 15ab) I will sing of your salvation.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
incline your ear to me, and save me.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
For you are my hope, O Lord;
my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother’s womb you are my strength.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R. I will sing of your salvation.

Reading 2 1 Cor 12:31—13:13 or 13:4-13

Brothers and sisters:
Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.
But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues,
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy,
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over so that I may boast,
but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing;
if tongues, they will cease;
if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
At present I know partially;
then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.


Gospel Lk 4:21-30

Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying:
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”
He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb,
‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say,
‘Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’”
And he said, “Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.

 

 

 

Homily: 

 

I read an article many years ago by a famous writer, though I forget his name.  It was about the fear which went with living in Germany under the Nazi;  they came for the Jews, be he wasn’t a Jew and so he said nothing in protest;  the same happened when they came for the communists, the trade unionists, and so on.  But the time they came for him, there was no one else left to make any protest.

There are times when we all try to silence and get rid of whatever we find different or challenging.  That is certainly true in our country today with the present administration of our so called leaders.  And it is also certainly true in the history of God’s dealings with his Chosen People, who either ignored or killed the prophets God sent to bring them back to him.  Jeremiah and Jesus both belong to this prophetic tradition, proclaiming God’s message and calling the people to trust in him.  Both had to face unpopularity and rejection;  Jeremiah fled for his life to Egypt and Jesus’ message was so unwelcomed that, in today’s Gospel, they tried to kill him.

 

Eventually of course, they succeeded.  One reason why Jesus was rejected was that people of Nazareth thought that he was just a nobody, just a carpenter’s son.  Because they knew him, they couldn’t believe that he could possibly be the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of God.  They wanted Jesus to prove himself, they wanted signs, miracles, proof.  But what enraged them even more than Jesus’ presumption was his challenge to their sense of being special, unique, superior to the peoples, because they were God’s Chosen People.  Jesus reminded them that God had shown in the past that he loved all people, not just the people of Israel.  They perceived that Jesus was turning away from them and offering to take his message of salvation to others, including the Gentiles.  They wanted to silence such blasphemy, and so they tried to kill him.

 

Like Jeremiah and Jesus, we too are called to be God’s prophets, as a Church, as a people, and as individuals.  We are called to make God’s love known, near and far, and without prejudice, as his servants, in the everyday ordinary events of our lives.  In baptism, God calls us to be his witnesses.  This will inevitably mean facing up to opposition and hostility, as is seen so much in this country today.  When we speak out against the killing of unborn children;  when we speak out against those who want to take God out of every aspect of our country, most especially our schools;  when we speak out against immorality, crimes, violence, and corruption, we are speaking out against the very same things that Jesus himself spoke out against.

 

No one likes to hear the truth when it is uncomfortable, when it challenges people’s ideas, perceptions, or lifestyles.  We may even try to stifle the voice of God ourselves.  Well, hopefully you and I, and anyone who lives in Christ doesn’t, but there are those who are bent to no end on doing so.  Like the people of Nazareth, we might believe that God cannot be possibly speaking in the ordinary events of our lives, that we cannot possibly be expected to bear witness to our faith in the place we work, or to our families and friends.  The people of Nazareth too believed that God couldn’t possibly be speaking and working through this ordinary carpenter’s son.  And yet, the only placed God can speak to us, the only place we can meet him, must be in the very ordinary circumstances of our lives.

 

If we don’t encounter him there, then we won’t find him at all.  And the only place in which we can bear witness to God, to the values of his kingdom, is precisely in the ordinariness of our lives;  in our relationships, in our homes, in our families (probably the most difficult) our workplace, our community, in our town hall meetings, and on our websites.  Like Jesus, we might have to face hostility and rejection for standing up for what we know to be right.  God is my Protector.  All it takes for evil to win through, is for good people to do nothing, to remain silent.  As for me, I will not remain silent.  You must make your own decision.  Today’s psalm and first reading assure us that no matter what happens, God is with us, he is our refuge, our strength, our protector!  And praise be his holy name.

 

It is my prayer that this message was meaningful to you.  Thank you and may God bless you all this coming week.  Peace!

 

Note:  I have a separate homily on Paul's letter to the Corinthians concerning Love, at a later time!

 

 

© Deacon Steve A. Politte

January 31, 2016

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~ I Run To Him ~

 

As fast as my knees will bend down to pray,
I run to God with my needs everyday.


When someone I love is having a rough time,
I run to Him knowing they will be fine.


When I am afraid and so full of fear,
I run to God for I know He’s always there.


When my trials get to heavy feeling like they’ll never end,
I know God will help me and I run to Him.


With everything that’s happening in this world today,
I run to the one who will make everything ok.


He has all the answers and He knows everything,
There is nothing in my life that to Him I can’t bring.


He loves me and cares so much about me,
After talking to Him I always feel free.


There will always be sorrows, and bad times and sin,
And as fast as I can I will always run to Him.

 



Written By Eva Dimel
Inspired By God
July 16th 2010

 

 

 

 

Here I Am Lord by John Michael Talbot

 


 

 

 

 

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