for Sunday, January 24, 2010
We are still in the very early Sundays of Ordinary Time and today's
readings challenge us to accept the Word of God and to allow ourselves to
be formed by this Word in every aspect of our lives.
The first reading, from the Book of Nehemiah, speaks about the return of
the exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem and their rebuilding the temple. More
important than the temple, however, is the Word of God. As in every age of
history, people can construct buildings, temples, churches and chapels for
the Lord - but unless hearts are changed internally, the buildings temples,
churches and chapels mean nothing. They are signs that are supposed to
speak of the devotion of those who use them, but if the hearts are not
changed, nothing else is important.
Ezra reads the Torah, the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Hebrew
Scriptures, our Old Testament, to the people. Even though all who listen
are believers, they have never heard nor understood their own Scriptures.
As the people listen, then begin to weep as they recognize that these
Scriptures are the Word of God. The first five books (Genesis, Exodus,
Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) are really the founding documents of
the Jewish people.
If we want to know Jesus Christ, who He is, who He is for us and who He
was for his first followers, we must spend some time learning the Old
Testament and the New Testament. Every word of the Old and the New
Testaments must be understood in relationship to every other word—and this
is why the Scriptures have such incredible depths to them.
Jesus begins His mission today in the reading that we have from the Gospel
of Luke. Just to begin to understand Jesus as He Himself speaks to us, we
must understand the Prophet Isaiah. This small section of Isaiah that
Jesus quotes in the Gospel today is Jesus telling us: This is who I am.
Who is He? He is the Good News, He is the Word of the Father, He lives by
the power of the Spirit, He is the anointed one, He proclaims freedom to
all of us who are not free and promises sight to all of us who do not see.
Is Jesus that in your life? Let us pray today that our hearts will be
open to our Lord Jesus. Let us invite the Lord Jesus into our lives. Let
us ask Jesus to let us see with eyes of faith. Let us ask the Lord for
this wonderful inner gift of freedom! May Jesus Christ be good news in our
lives today and may we proclaim His goodness to the ends of the earth.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: