1st Reading: Nehemiah 8; 4a, 5-6,8-10
Psalm Response: Psalm 19 :8,9,10,15
2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-30
Gospel: Luke 1: 1-4, 14-21
The Sunday readings are so rich in reality and good advice, it is difficult to hone in on one theme. I found several good themes to consider as you sit with the Scriptures for this Sunday. Timothy admonishes us and encourages us to rejoice in the Word of the Lord. We should be happy Christians while reaching out to the less fortunate. We certainly need to hear this message at this time in history. We are reminded that we are many different people who make up the Body of Christ, the Church. Each person regardless of religion, age or ethnicity deserves respect and to be held as sacred as they are the embodiment of God on earth.
In the Gospel we see Jesus returning to Nazareth. So much for believing you can never return home. He lived as the native people, not being showy, although his reputation surely was known before he arrived. Do you believe they realized WHO Jesus really was? Or was he still just the boy next door? Do you think they really listened to him with open hearts? Would I have listened had I lived at that time? Do I listen now realizing that each person I meet is loved by the same God who loves Jesus and every human on earth?
Loving Creator, God, when I encounter You in the Eucharist, help me to realize who you really are for me. When I meet my brothers and sisters throughout the day help me to recognize You in each of them. I am part of a bigger picture and when I fail others suffer. Teach me to become a compassionate listener and to open my heart to those who need reassurance and encouragement. May my kind words bring comfort to all I encounter. May the Scriptures always be a guide for me and be a messenger of peace. What a precious gift!
Andre’ Burkhart, OSF