Archive for February 2, 2013

February 3rd 2013 – 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted: February 2, 2013 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

Prophet to the Nations

Readings:
Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19
Psalm 71: 1-6,15-17
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
Luke 4:21-30


 

God’s words in today’s First Reading point us beyond Jeremiah to Jesus. Like Jeremiah, Jesus was consecrated in the womb and sent as a “prophet to the nations” (see Luke 1:31-33).

Like the prophets before Him, Jesus too faces hostility. In today’s Gospel, the crowd in His hometown synagogue quickly turns on Him, apparently demanding a sign, some proof of divine origins – that He’s more than just “the son of Joseph.”

The sign He gives them is that of the prophets Elijah and Elisha. From their colorful careers Jesus draws two stories. In each, the prophets bypass “many…in Israel” to bestow God’s blessings on non-Israelites who had faith that the prophets were men of God (see 1 Kings 17:1-16; 2 Kings 5:1-14). “None…not one” in Israel was found deserving, Jesus emphasizes.

His point isn’t lost on His audience. They know He’s likening them to the “many…in Israel” in the days of the prophets. That’s why they try to shove Him off the cliff. As He promised to protect Jeremiah, the Lord delivers Jesus from those who would crush Him.

And as were Elijah and Elisha, Jesus is sent to proclaim God’s gift of salvation – not exclusively to one nation or people, but to all who realize in faith that from the womb God alone is their hope, their rescuer, their “rock of refuge,” as we sing in today’s Psalm.

Prophecies, Paul tells us in today’s Epistle, are partial and pass away “when the perfect comes.” In Jesus, the word of the prophets has been brought to perfection, fulfilled in those who have ears to hear, as He declares in today’s Gospel.

Greater than the gifts of faith and hope, Jesus shows us how to love as He loved, to love God as our Father, as One Who formed us in the womb and destined us to hear His saving Word.

This is the salvation, the “mighty works of the Lord,” that we, as the Psalmist, are thankful to proclaim daily in the Eucharist.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 2, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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What can learn from today’s gospel?  Let us open our hearts and minds to see….

  • The Holy Family was obedient on to God, they followed God’s call to consecrate Jesus who is the first born.  Mary underwent the prescribed purification ritual and then together with Joseph offered up the sacrifice.  We too can consecrate ourselves to Jesus and bring our daily/weekly sacrifice i.e. deeds of love, service etc. up to Him during the Eucharistic celebration. 
  • If we lead Holy and righteous lives, like Simeon and Anna, we too may look upon the face of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • We too can learn from Simeon and Anna, blessing, praising and worshipping God with all our heart and might.
  • Mary our Mother knows our every need, our every desire, our every deed, how easily we tire.  Through her powerful intercession, the Holy Spirit will strengthen, guide and show us the way to the Truth, the Light and the Way, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Blessed is our Mother indeed!

Let us pray….

On this day, Lord, Your mother, Mary and foster father, Joseph, presented You at the temple.  We celebrate Your presentation by lighting candles – reminding us that You are the light of the world.  I pray today that I never live a day without feeling the fire of Your love burning within my heart. Amen.

GOSPEL Luke 2:22–40

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted —and you yourself a sword will pierce— so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty–four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.