Theme: JESUS THE PROPHET OF GOD SPEAKS GOD’S WORD OF SALVATION
- Jeremiah 1:4-5. 17-19;
- Psalm 70 (71):1-6. 15. 17. R/ v. 15;
- 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
- Luke 4:21-30
Today is the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year C. The gospel today tells us that Jesus is the prophet of God who speaks God’s word of salvation! Thus we read in the gospel today, “the gracious words that came from his lips”. “Gracious words”, that is, words of salvation. “Came from his lips” (Dt 8:3), that is, word of God. (NJBC)
More importantly, the gospel today tells us that like the prophets Elijah and Elisha, who ministered not only to the Jews but also to the pagans, not only to man (Naaman) but also to woman (widow); Jesus came to save not only the Jews but also the pagans, not only man but also woman!
Most importantly, the gospel tells us that the Jews rejected Jesus and they wanted to throw him down the cliff, but Jesus slipped through them. This points to the future rejection of Jesus by the Jews and to the “Easter victory” of Jesus! (NJBC)
The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us about the call of the prophet Jeremiah. The prophet Jeremiah prefigures Jesus the prophet! Like Jesus, Jeremiah was called to be a prophet to all the nations, not only to the Jews! Like Jesus, Jeremiah was also rejected by the Jews. The second part of today’s first reading (vv. 17-19) tells us that the kings, princes, priests and people of Judah will fight against Jeremiah. And like Jesus, the Lord was with Jeremiah to deliver him!
The responsorial psalm is a prayer of an old man, but in the context of today’s readings, it is a prayer of a persecuted prophet. The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. Stanzas one, two and three is a prayer for deliverance (vv. 1-6). Stanza four is a vow to praise and thank God for deliverance (vv. 15. 17). (NJBC) Thus the response which is taken from the fourth stanza:
“My lips will tell of your help”. (Ps 70 (71): 15; SM)
We are all called to be prophets because of our baptism! The readings today tell us about being prophets:
(i) We must speak God’s word of salvation. (Gospel)
(ii) We must speak to all the nations. (Gospel and First Reading)
(iii) We must expect rejection. (Gospel and First Reading)
(iv) God is with us to deliver us. (Gospel and First reading)
(v) We must pray for deliverance. (Responsorial Psalm)
(vi) We must prophesy with love. (Second Reading)
The second reading today tells us to be ambitious for the higher gifts, that is, the gifts of faith, hope and love. In fact the second reading tells us to be ambitious for the highest gift, that is, the gift of love! In heaven we do not need faith and hope anymore! In heaven we find only love and love gives life and happiness! Thus in heaven we find only three things, that is, love, life and happiness! Thus the second reading concludes:
“In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Co 13:13; SM)
The second reading today tells us that
“Love is always patient and kind: it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.” (1 Co 13:4-7; SM)
The quotation above can serve as a checklist to see if you have love or to see if others have love. We have only to substitute the word love with our name or with the name of others. But first substitute the word love with the name Jesus because Jesus is love!
Today in this Mass we thank God for his Son Jesus Christ the prophet par excellence and we ask God to give us the Holy Spirit so that we may become the prophets of God to speak God’s word of salvation to all the nations!
Today in this Mass we also thank God for the many spiritual gifts and charisms and we ask God to help us to be ambitious for the highest gift, that is, the gift of love, so that we can love God, neighbor and our own very selves! A Happy and Blessed Sunday to all of you! Amen!