for Sunday, February 3, 2013
The Prophet Jeremiah tells us today, speaking on behalf of God: I am with
you to deliver you. At the heart of our faith must be a deep awareness
that God is with us and will always deliver us.
Sometimes we can think that God will deliver us from external evils.
Surely God will be with us in all external evils and will show us how to
endure. What God delivers us from is our own evil. All of us have chosen
to be less that God calls us to be. Perhaps we do make good decisions some
of the time, by the grace of God. On the other hand, at times we recognize
that it is easier to chose the more convenient way rather than the way of
the Lord. This has been true in all periods of history and is true now.
The reading from the First Letter to the Corinthians is very clear: love
is at the heart of our Christian faith and our Christian way of loving.
Today many people think that love is easy. Many think that loving another
person means allowing that person to do whatever they want to do. For many
of us, loving ourselves seems to mean letting ourselves do whatever we want
to do. For Jesus, however, love is choosing that which is true and right
and that which is the best choice for us in terms of eternal life: that
which helps us live by God's commandments. To love means to sacrifice
myself for the sake of others.
In the Gospel of Luke today, we hear Jesus telling his fellow Jews that God
often chooses people who don't belong to the Chosen People in order to show
His mercy and compassion. This evokes anger among his fellow Jews. For
ourselves, in the modern age, it seems that we accept that God can work
wherever He wants. On the other hand, we find it difficult to believe that
God really expects us to have a clear morality. We trust that God will
simply ignore our actions that are not in accord with His commandments.
Very few people today want to proclaim the moral code proclaimed by Jesus
Christ. Instead, many want to find ways to say that Jesus would have given
a different teaching if he had lived today. This can only be a serious
thought by people who really do not believe that Jesus is God. This is
more and more a common way of thinking today. So many people think of
Jesus as a good religious guide, but not divine. Thus His teachings can be
changed into what we think that He would teach if He were here today.
So, my sisters and brothers, we are invited to walk with the Lord Jesus
today, to proclaim His divinity, to trust in His teachings as He gave them
to us, to trust in our holy Catholic Church in spite of all of its
failings. Let us pray for inner transformation so that we may be faithful
to our Lord.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Jeremiah 1.4-5, 17-19
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12.31 - 13.13
Gospel: Luke 4.21-30
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: