February 3, 2019

4th Sun., Ordinary Time

February 3, 2019:  Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

See 16 connections with today?
Legend below

For next Sunday
Jesus’ compatriots, skeptical he's the one the Spirit descended on sent to save humanity, demand he work miracles, but he refuses.  God wants faith; they want miracles.  God wants to save everyone; they want a Messiah for their own advantage.  The people were called to open their hearts to the gratuitousness and universality of salvation, but they rebelled and raged, about to throw Jesus off a cliff.
Jesus, in living the mission the Father entrusted to him, knows he must face fatigue, rejection, persecution, and defeat This is the price of prophecy, even today.  Rejection doesn't discourage Jesus or stop the fruitfulness of his prophetic action.  Today’s world also needs to see the Lord’s disciples acting as prophets, courageous, persevering, following faith, not miracles, serving all, not excluding any, open to accepting the Father's will, committing themselves to witnessing to it faithfully.  May we grow and walk in the same zeal for God's Kingdom that animated Jesus’ mission.

  • Jer 1:4-5, 17-19  Before you were born, I knew you and appointed you prophet.  Tell them all I command you.  I've fortified you and am with you to deliver you.
  • Ps 71:1-6, 15-17  "I will sing of your salvation."  Hear and rescue me; I take refuge in you.
  • 1 Cor 12:31—13:13  No matter what I do, without love it's nothing.  Love is patient and kind, not jealous, rude, self-interested or quick-tempered.  It rejoices in truth, bears, believes, hopes, endures, never fails.  I used to act like a child, but now I put childish ways aside.  We'll see face to face and know fully.  Faith, hope, love remain, but the greatest is love.
  • Lk 4:21-30  Jesus spoke in the synagogue:  “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”  All spoke highly of him and were amazed. They asked, “Isn’t this Joseph's son?”  He said to them, “No prophet is accepted in his own native place:  there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, but he was sent only to a widow in Zarephath.  There were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha, but only Naaman the Syrian was cleansed.”  When they heard this, they were furious, drove him out, and led him up a hill to hurl him down, but he passed through them and left.
  • Creighton:  The townsfolk are impressed with Jesus’ words, but the stories he recalls provoke them to change:  They don't like the implications of his message and so try to get rid of the messenger.  Persons with limited vision can assume they can see more than they can, so they more easily bump into or knock over things, too confident in what they see and less aware of what they can't.  The Nazareth folks were blinded, seeing Jesus as limited to their own expectations.  Seeing a little, they thought they could see more.  We have low vision about most things, especially God.  Faith helps us see the glimpses God offers; grace helps us trust in what's behind and beyond them.  When we think we know about God or others or something, we only know enough to attract or distract us.  Jesus came to help the blind recover sight.  Jesus left the townspeople because their low vision led them to think they knew more than they did....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Simply love":  The meaning of life is love, for God is Love. All we have to do is to love God, ourselves, and others.  God can be easy to love, but when he speaks truth in love we may want to throw him over a cliff.  We live in an epidemic of self-hatred:  abortion, euthanasia, addiction, idolatries, are manifestations of self-hatred.  To love others means to love everyone, including our enemies.  We can't relate to God/Love unless we love. "We love because he first loved us."  Let the Spirit reveal in a new way Abba's love for you.
  • PassionistWhen Jesus senses the people are doubting him, he speaks of a prophet not having honor in his native place, then gives examples of God working outside human boundaries:  Elijah helping a widow outside of Israel, Elisha cleansing a leper from Syria. Then the people get indignant and try to kill him.  We can have similar thoughts and feelings towards others. “Who does he think he is?”  If we reject what others are saying, no matter how reasonable, we're no better than white supremacists, xenophobes, or clerics who give no voice to laypeople. God works outside our barriers.  Jesus reaches out beyond Israel, and to people beyond what conventional wisdom dictated.  The 2nd reading tells why Jesus gives such a model:  love. When we get indignant, believing we're standing up for what's right, but without love, we're standing up for nothing. Love takes no pleasure in anyone's destruction of anyone, but in justice and peace for all.  Many turn a deaf ear to the promotion of life, the need for reconciliation, to people of faith, but don't let that deafness lead you away from love. If we believe in the meaning of the Cross and the empty tomb; if we believe God wants to heal, reconcile, and redeem us, then we're called to love as Jesus does, to be open to where the Spirit leads us, even if it means crossing boundaries, even if people don't want to hear....
  • DailyScripture.net:  Do you believe God wants to act with power in your life today, to heal leprosy of soul and body?  "Naaman was sent to the Jordan as to the remedy capable to heal a human being.  Sin is the leprosy of the soul, though our senses don't perceive it.  We must be delivered from it by Christ's power.  Naaman represents all our purification through baptism." (Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on 2 Kings 5.10-1)  The Lord wants to renew in each of us the gift of faith and regenerating power of baptism and the Spirit that cleanses us of the leprosy of sin and makes us God's "newborn" children.
When Jesus first proclaimed the good news to his own townspeople, he confronted them with their sin of indifference and unbelief, startling them by saying no prophet could receive honor among his own people.  He then angered them, complimenting Gentile "outsiders" who had shown more faith than Jews.  They threw him out and would have done him harm had he not stopped them.  We all need God's grace and merciful help every day.  He'll set us free if we let him cleanse and heal us.
    • Blase (Blaise), bishop, missionary, martyr; see also Wikipedia.  “Through the intercession of St. Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil.”
Dress legend
  • 'Clef' pin:  "I will sing of your salvation" (psalm)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  You are my rock of refuge (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Rescue me from the hand of the wicked (psalm); "If I 'hand' my body over but don't have love, I gain nothing" (2nd reading)
  • 'LOVE' suspenders sticker:  Love (2nd reading)
  • 'Bear' tie bar:  Love 'bears' all things (2nd reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  We see indistinctly but will see face to face (2nd reading)
  • 'We [children] work together' tie, 'hammer' and 'nail' pins:  "When I was a child, I used to talk, think, and reason as a child" (2nd reading); isn't he the son of Joseph [the carpenter]? (gospel)
  • 'Car with mouth' pin:  My mouth shall declare your justice (psalm); 'tongues' will cease (2nd reading); furious, they 'drove' him out of the town (gospel)
  • 'Alps' pin:  They led Jesus to the brow of the hill (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time (season)

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