READINGS for 2008-01-10

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

“Isn’t he the son of Joseph?” – Luke 4:22
       Our youngest son, Paolo, graduated from college with honors. “Just like me,” I boasted to my husband.
       A few months after his graduation, Paolo found a job. When he received his first salary, he declared, “I’m saving my money!”
       “Just like me,” my husband boasted to me, grinning from ear to ear.
       My husband and I like to tease each other about our children’s traits. I claim the honors when they are doing well, and throw the blame to my husband when they misbehave. My husband is also quick to claim the credit when the kids are doing A-OK, and attributes some of the children’s follies to me.
        In today’s Gospel, the people in the synagogue could hardly believe that a carpenter like Joseph could have such an eloquent child as Jesus. The rest of the Gospel narrates that the people of Nazareth eventually rejected Jesus. Of course, we know now that they were all dead wrong!
        My husband and I, biased as we are, could be dead wrong about our presumptions about our children’s traits. I pray, though, that we will be correct about Who should get the credit when we all turn out all right. Cynthia Santiago
How well do you know Jesus?
Lord, I honor you as the True Prophet, my Messiah, my Savior and my God. All glory and honor belong to You!
       This is perhaps one of the most difficult texts to accept and live in all of the Scriptures. Love and hate cannot co-exist – it is as simple as that. As Christians, we make a commitment to drive out all hatred from our lives and to take on a life of love no matter what the cost. Let us pray for the grace to take this call upon ourselves with enough determination to see us succeed.
1 John 4: 19-5:4
       19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 5: 1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the father loves [also] the one begotten by him. 2 In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4 for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Psalm 72:1-2, 14, 15bc, 17
R: Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
       1 O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king’s son; 2 he shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment. (R) 14 From fraud and violence he shall redeem them, and precious shall their blood be in his sight. 15 May they be prayed for continually; day by day shall they bless him. (R) 17 May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim his happiness. (R)
       In today’s corporate and individual potential development mentality and lingo, perhaps we would interpret this quote from Isaiah as a personal mission statement for Jesus. But it is so much more than that. This text underlies the very meaning and reason for the Incarnation. Our spiritual nature is so much deeper than any glib answers given by the personal development gurus. All we need is a simple life statement along the lines: I am committed to seeking out and doing God’s will for my life.
Luke 4: 14-22
       14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. 15 He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all. 16 He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read 17 and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19 and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” 20 Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. 21 He said to them, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
my reflections
think:As Christians, we make a commitment to drive out all hatred from our lives and to take on a life of love no matter what the cost.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________

Jesus’ proGraM is our proGraM


Jesus is back in Nazareth and attends the Sabbath service in the synagogue. He is asked to read one of the readings. Was it accidental or intentional that He read the 66 long chapters of Isaiah? Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit who appeared upon Him during baptism. Jesus was so Spirit-filled that nothing was accidental in His life.

The passage Jesus reads contains the program of His ministry. In His life and ministry, Jesus fulfills what the prophet wrote centuries ago. Luke answers our question about Jesus clearly: He is the fulfillment of the prophecies of old. He did not come without having been announced centuries ago. The prophets actually spoke about their time and the imminent future; they did not think of Jesus Christ yet. But they were inspired by God’s Spirit so that the oracles they uttered turned out to have a

much more profound meaning and would be fully fulfilled only in Christ.

Jesus came to proclaim the Good News. He came to free us from the captivity of sin. He opened our eyes and freed us from our spiritual blindness. He saw to it that people would be reminded of Isaiah’s prophecy and recognize Him as the One mankind was waiting for. Jesus started the fulfillment with His ministry.

As Jesus’ disciples, we are challenged to continue proclaiming the Good News. He needs us to open the eyes of those who are spiritually blind. He needs us to bring those bound by sin into His presence to liberate them. This effort even goes beyond spiritual liberation. In Latin America, the Church has contributed much to a social and political liberation of the poor and oppressed.

The Holy Spirit we received in baptism and confirmation is upon us. St. Paul goes a step further and speaks of us Christians as “temples of the Holy Spirit,” meaning the Spirit is in us. This enables us to continue the great work of Jesus. His program has become  ours. Fr. Rudy Horst

Reflection Question:

Am I aware that I am called to make Christ’s program my program in life? How can I do this effectively?

Lord, You have given us a great task, the task to continue Your work on earth. With the Holy Spirit in us, we are able to do this. Make us more aware of this great responsibility and enlighten us to make Your program our own.

St. William of Bourges, bishop,pray for us.


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