for Sunday, January 27, 2013
Today shows a new beginning for God's people in the Jewish Scriptures.
Ezra and Nehemiah have found the Scriptures, the Law, and are reading them
to the people. The people are eager to receive them and realize how far
they have gone away from their Covenant with God. The people want to
return to the full observance of what God has asked of them.
If we were to think of something similar today, it would be like reading
The Catechism of the Catholic Church in public and everyone weeping because
people can see how far we are away from the teachings of our faith. The
deepest response would have to be the same as these chosen people of own:
God has called us and we want to do only His will. That will was shown to
the Chosen People in the Law given to Moses. It is shown to us today in
the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Today, far too often, we find ourselves seeking only what we want to be
true or what we find convenient for us to be true. Following Jesus Christ
in His Church is a demanding exercise and demands our whole life. Together
you and I form the Church, but never by ourselves and never without the
authority established by Christ to guide and direct His Church. The First
Letter to the Corinthians includes the description that we have today of
how we are all one and how we are called to work together for the glory of
When we separate ourselves from the Church, we separate ourselves from
Christ. Today many Christians no longer believe in the Church. They
profess faith in Christ but do not see the importance of belonging to the
Church. This is part of the struggle with individualism in our own time:
we want to believe but we want to believe only our own version of faith.
We do not want to be given the teaching of the Church if we disagree with
it. We end up following, not Christ, but only ourselves.
The Gospel of Luke today is at the beginning of the public ministry of
Christ. He reads the Prophet Isaiah to his fellow townspeople and then
tells the that the Scripture is fulfilled their, in their midst. We know
that through the ministry of Jesus lots of people followed Him. We also
know that lots of people did not follow Him because they did not want to
accept His complete teachings.
This is the same today. The challenge of this Sunday is this: will we
follow Christ in His Church or will we go our own way? We cannot claim to
be following Christ if we do not accept what He teaches. Jesus tells us:
come, follow me. Let us walk with Him and in Him find our peace.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Nehemiah 8.2-4a, 5-6, 8-10++
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12.12-30
Gospel: Luke 1.1-4; 4.14-21
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: