for Sunday, January 24, 2016
This Sunday the readings tell us about remembering the Word of God. The first reading, from the Prophet Nehemiah, tells about when the whole text of the Law of the Jewish Scriptures had more or less been lost and then found. The people wept as they heard it read aloud to them. We have to remember that these people had been conquered and taken into exile. There are so many displaced people today who have had the experience of losing everything. When something is found that draws them closer to their origins, there is understandable a lot of emotion.
We hear this first reading echoed in the Gospel to day from Saint Luke. Saint Luke tells us that he is writing down his memories so that they will not be lost and so that people can better understand Jesus. This account helps us understand how people in the time of Jesus or shortly after the time of Jesus understood Him. Jesus reads aloud in the Synagogue from the Prophet Isaiah—and then tells the people that this Scripture passage is fulfilled in their hearing. Surely the people must have wondered what He meant!
For us today, we must decide in our own hearts what the Scriptures mean to us. If we are truly believing Catholics, the Scriptures are the Word of God, given for our salvation. We have to take time to read them and to try to understand them as the Church wants them understood. So many people today have only a handed down religion which has not become a personal religion, lived out of complete faith. But that is what the Lord is asking of us: believe in the Gospel!
The second reading, which is very long today, tells us that we are now Christ's body, and individually parts of it. That can only make sense to those who believe. We must be those people who can hear the Prophet Nehemiah and want to live our faith because it is the very center of our life. We must be those people who can listen to the Lord Jesus and know that He is truly God and that all of prophecy is fulfilled in Him. We must recognize that together we form the body of Christ. We are Christ present in our world today: bringing God to others because God has come into our lives.
My sisters and brothers, let us walk with God and share God's love with others.
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: