Sunday 30 January 2022 – A BOLD MESSENGER


1st Reading: Jeremiah 1:4–5, 17–19

The word of the Lord came to me, saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.  But do you gird your loins; stand up and tell them all that I command you.  Be not crushed on their account, as though I would leave you crushed before them; for it is I this day who have made you a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of brass, against the whole land: against Judah’s kings and princes, against its priests and people.  They will fight against you but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:31—13:13

Brothers and sisters: Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts.  But I shall show you a still more excellent way.  If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.  And if I have the gift of prophecy, and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind.  It is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.  If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.  For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.  At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face.  At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.  So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Gospel: Luke 4:21–30

Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”  And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.  They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”  He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb, ‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’”  And he said, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.  Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land.  It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.  Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”  When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury.  They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.  But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.

A BOLD MESSENGER: Christianity is like a bed of roses, which is attractive but has sharp thorns. Being a Christian means being ready to walk without shoes, on this bed. Whenever we step on a rose, there is joy; but beneath the beautiful stepping, a thorn pricks our flesh causing pain. We are called to be God’s messengers. This grants us joy though the risks involved, cause us pains and anxieties. The word of God to Jeremiah comforts us. God is in charge. God grants us love, within which we can endure to the very end. If Jesus was was rejected, yet he was the Son of God, how much more shall we be rejected? Let us receive the Word with gladness, proclaim it with boldness, and embrace it in our lives. When we do this, we become worthy of the name Christians, and surely the reward shall be great in heaven.

Prayer: Lord, help the disciples of your Son not to be afraid of proclaiming your Word in whatever situation they find themselves.


THE WORK OF THE CHURCH: The church, like a prophet, carries out the work she was sent to do by her master who is Jesus Christ. She proclaims the Good News of Jesus, a message that is meant to help people to come back to God. To accept and live according to that message is to accept the path leading towards salvation. Anytime one refuses to adhere to the message proclaimed by the Church, the person does not only reject the message but also the Church, which is the instrument of salvation. It also means rejecting Christ and God the Father who sent him. The Church, like Christ (Luke 4:21-30) does not stop proclaiming her message. She continues with her work even among those who oppose her. She hopes that by continuing with her work, one day those who oppose her will come to accept the message. The Church is a sign of God’s presence among people. Her presence in the world is a reminder to both believers and nonbelievers that, their Creator is present among people. She calls people to come towards their Creator. Those who heed to her call have their reward awaiting them.