Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 02-03-13, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Posted on 02/02/2013 9:12:23 PM PST by Salvation
I’m having trouble with my email so haven’t received the Navarre commentaries. But they aren’t posted on their site either.
I’ll send them out when I get them.
|First reading||Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19 ©|
|Psalm||Psalm 70:1-6,15,17 ©|
|Second reading||1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 ©|
|Second reading||1 Corinthians 13:4-13 ©|
|Gospel||Luke 4:21-30 ©|
On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
On the Beauty of God's Plan of Salvation
On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced
On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
Catechism's benefits explained for Year of Faith (Catholic Caucus)
A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
Living the Year of Faith: How Pope Benedict Wants You to Begin [Catholic Caucus]
Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
On A New Series of Audiences for The Year of Faith
Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith
The following is the longer version of the vital prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 after his startling vision as to the future of the Church. This prayer was dedicated for the Feast of St. Michael 1448 years from the date of the election of the first Leo - Pope Saint Leo the Great. Everyone is familiar with the first prayer below which was mandated by His Holiness as part of the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass. Below are both the short and longer versions of this poignant prayer which should never be forgotten.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
R: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
V: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
R: As we have hoped in Thee.
V: O Lord hear my prayer.
R: And let my cry come unto Thee.
V: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls. Amen.
Look down upon me, O good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; the while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee, my good Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.
Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.
Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.
Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.
Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priestsThis icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.
The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.
The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.
Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem. He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.
St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
1. Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. The Apostles Creed: I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
3. The Lord's Prayer: OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
4. (3) Hail Mary: HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)
5. Glory Be: GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer. Repeat the process with each mystery.
End with the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Final step -- The Sign of the Cross
The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8"
PLEASE JOIN US -
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of February has been primarily asociated with the Holy Family, probably due to the feast of Our Lord's presentation at the temple, celebrated on February 2. At the very outset of Christ's work on earth, God showed the world a family in which, as Pope Leo XIII teaches, "all men might behold a perfect model of domestic life, and of all virtue and holiness." The harmony, unity, and holiness which characterized this holy Family make it the model for all Christian families.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph most kind, Bless us now and in death's agony.
FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE HOLY FAMILY
Grant unto us, Lord Jesus, ever to follow the example of Thy holy Family, that in the hour of our death Thy glorious Virgin Mother together with blessed Joseph may come to meet us and we may be worthily received by Thee into everlasting dwellings: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY FAMILY
O Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, who having come to enlighten the world with Thy teaching and example, didst will to pass the greater part of Thy life in humility and subjection to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth, thus sanctifying the Family that was to be an example for all Christian families, graciously receive our family as it dedicates and consecrates itself to Thee this day. Do Thou defend us, guard us and establish amongst us Thy holy fear, true peace, and concord in Christian love: in order that, by conforming ourselves to the divine pattern of Thy family, we may be able, all of us without exception, to attain to eternal happiness.
Mary, dear Mother of Jesus and Mother of us, by thy kindly intercession make this our humble offering acceptable in the sight of Jesus, and obtain for us His graces and blessings.
O Saint Joseph, most holy guardian of Jesus and Mary, assist us by thy prayers in all our spiritual and temporal necessities; that so we may be enabled to praise our divine Savior Jesus, together with Mary and thee, for all eternity.
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be, three times.
IN HONOR OF THE HOLY FAMILY
O God, heavenly Father, it was part of Thine eternal decree that Thine only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, should form a holy family with Mary, His blessed mother, and His foster father, Saint Joseph. In Nazareth home life was sanctified, and a perfect example was given to every Christian family. Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may fully comprehend and faithfully imitate the virtues of the Holy Family so that we may be united with them one day in their heavenly glory. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954
Holy Family Chaplet
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, be with me in my last hour.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul
in peace with you.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse. Amen.
Say 3 Our Father's, 3 Hail Mary's, and 3 Glory be's.
THE HOLY FAMILY
GOD our Heavenly Father, You call all peoples to be united as one family in worshipping You as the one and true God. You willed that Your Son become man, giving Him a virgin mother and a foster father to form the Holy Family of Nazareth.
WE pray: may the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, image and model of every human family unit walk in the spirit of Nazareth and grow in the understanding of its particular mission in society and the Church. May our families be living cells of love, faithfulness and unity, thus reflecting God's covenant with humanity and Christ's redeeming love for His Church.
JESUS, Mary and Joseph protect our families from all evil; keep us, who are away from home, one in love with our dear ones.
Why were you looking for me?" (On the Feast of The Holy Family)
U.S. Postal Service Issues Holy Family Forever Stamp
On Prayer in the Life of the Holy Family
The Holy Family - held together by Love through all their problems [Ecumenical]
Feast of the Holy Family: The Christian Family is a Domestic Church
Chesterton on "The Human Family and the Holy Family"
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
ADVICE TO PARENTS by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
The Holy Family
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Feast of the Holy Family
Feast of the Holy Family (Dom Guéranger OSB)
The Feast of the Holy Family
The Holy Family vs. The Holy Innocents: A Christmas season reflection [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican creche to place Holy Family in Joseph's carpentry workshop
The Redemption and Protection of the Family [Feast of the Holy Family]
Study Backs Tradition of Loreto House - Stones in Altar Match Those in Nazareth, It Says
Unraveling Jesus' mystery years in Egypt
Gaudis Church of the Holy Family to be ready for worship in 2008
Imitating the Holy Family; Four Traits that Make It Possible
Lots of Graphics: Post your favorite image of the St. Mary and Child, the Holy Family...
Change is usually disruptive. Habits make life easier because, by definition, habits are designed to reduce the effort of our tasks. But when habits are challenged with changes, uncertainties are introduced that make demands on our patterns of thinking and behaving. The breaking of everyday routines can be annoying at the very least. Yet change is often desirable or even necessary: a change of scenery; changes to get out of ruts of behavior (such as watching too much television or a fixation with iPhones); above all, changes to renounce sinful behavior.
As usual it is helpful to look at the Gospel to examine the way God changes the world. We will find that the Gospel pattern is gradual and nonviolent, following the pattern of fulfillment before the changes of replacement.
This Sundays Gospel completes the Gospel passage of the preceding Sunday. In His hometown synagogue, Jesus reveals that He is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. For those with the eyes to see and the ears to hear, especially in connection with His reputed mighty deeds in Capernaum, Jesus is revealing that He is the Christ. Jesus is reaching deep into the history of Israel to make His case in a thoughtful, even gradual manner. Contrary to the opinions of many theologians of our time, Jesus was not a revolutionary.
Initially the neighbors of Jesus spoke highly of Him. St. Luke reveals all were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. But their familiarity with Him and the habits of their relationship with Him would not change. They also asked, Isnt this the son of Joseph? And soon they were all filled with fury and rose up, drove him out of the town and led him to the brow of the hill to hurl him down headlong. He was not provoked by the rejection. He simply passed through the midst of them and went away. Such is the patience of Christ, patience demonstrated throughout the Gospels in the face of His enemies up to His self-surrender on the cross.
In the divine economy the second person of the Trinity enters into the world and fulfills the revelations of the Old Testament prophets before He replaces the old wine skins with the new (cf. Mk 2:22). Hence the liturgy of the synagogue is fulfilled and replaced by the Liturgy of the Word at Mass. The sacrifice of the temple is fulfilled and replaced by the one sacrifice of Christ. And the one sacrifice of Christ is represented in the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the worship of the triune God. The change that Christ effects is preceded by fulfillment. For Christ insists, Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them (Mt 5:17). For Christians, change is linked to fulfillment and enlightenment. Grace, as the theologians say, builds on nature.
In contrast the game plan of the evil one is, as usual, a half-truth. The radical demand for replacement (change) is not preceded by patience; it can only be preceded by the violence of destruction. In our day, evidence of the diabolical plan for change is clear. The Ten Commandments need to be destroyed and replaced. The Sixth and Ninth Commandments protecting marriage must be destroyed and redefined to promote contraception and the gay agenda. The Fifth Commandment also needs to be redefined to mandate subsidized abortion on demand and euthanasia for those outside the womb deemed to be a drag on the economy. The Seventh Commandment protecting private property (always, of course, in the service of the common good) also needs to be redefined to insist upon the centralization of economic and social power in the hands of a few, including theft from children not yet born. The first three commandments, our duties to God, must be replaced by our duties to the state, perverting the notion of social justice. The Fourth Commandment teaching filial respect and obedience (including respect and obedience to the teachings of church and recognition of the Holy Fathers teaching infallibility in matters of faith and morals) must be replaced by the infallible teaching authority of the state and its spokesman.
Underpinning the whole diabolical plan is the undermining and replacement of the Eighth Commandment. For revolutionaries, truth can no longer be objective. Lies are enunciated with great certainty and never retracted. The most arrogant and often the most successful of politicians follow this path with great worldly success. But Christians are not of the world as they remain in the world. As the prophet Isaiah reveals, My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord (Is 55:8).
Following the Lord requires of each of us a profound conversion, a change in our way of thinking and living; and it requires us to open our hearts to be enlightened and to be inwardly transformed. In other words, the Lord invites us to a lifetime of change. He does us no violence. We are, after all, His handiwork. The Lord does not destroy or even modify our nature. With His grace He purifies it, in a real sense fulfills it in His love. This is the only change we ought to believe in.
Fr. Pokorsky is pastor of St. Michael Parish in Annandale.
Year C- 4th Sunday in ordinary time
No prophet is accepted in his own countryLuke 4:21-30
21 Then he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary
Prophets are those who speak for God. They Love God, and they love his people, and speak the very true (and often painful) truth of God to his people. They do so not to win an argument, but because of their love and conviction that only the undiluted truth of God can save us in the end.
People-pleasing and other forms of human respect cannot supplant the reverence for God and His truth. Thus Prophets are willing to endure pain and suffering to proclaim Gods truth to an often unappreciative segment of Gods people. But out of love for God and his people, they press on to proclaim his truth, and they do so willingly, knowing that even death awaits their personal, persistent and prophetic proclamation.
Todays readings set for us a kind of rule for life for prophets. And we, who are baptized into the order of prophet, do well to hear the teachings of these readings, Let us examine them in three stages.
I. The Call that is Declared The text says: In the first reading God says to Jeremiah (and to us): 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.
We ought to note four things about our call as prophets.
1. The Prevenient nature of our Call- The word prevenient refers to something which comes before; which precedes, something that is expectant or anticipatory. And thus God has not chosen us in a whimsical way, as if to say, youll do. He has considered our call before He made us and equipped, empowered and enabled us for our work.
God tells Jeremiah and us, that he has known, loved and cherished us long before He ever made us. And thus he made us in a way that prepared and equipped us of the very work of being a prophet.
How? you say. That is as variable as the person you are. There is no one who can proclaim God or announce the kingdom like you can. Perhaps too he has especially equipped you to evangelize certain individuals no one else can reach. Just know this, God has thought a long time about you and prepared for you in very specific and thoughtful ways. What ever you have needed has come before is prevenient.
2. The Purview of our Call -The text tells Jeremiah (and us) that we are appointed unto the nations. Now, Jeremiah did not himself, in his own life, journey beyond Israel. But since his life, the Word of the Lord uttered through him, has reached every nation.
Never doubt the influence you can exert by the grace of God. Even in and through reaching one person you can change the destiny of many. Stay in your lane and do your work, but remember God can accomplish through you more than you ask or imagine. Your influence by his grace can reach the nations.
3. The Preparation of our Call -The Lord tells Jeremiah (and us) to gird our loins. This is an ancient way of saying roll up your sleeves. In other words, prepare to work by assembling what you need and being ready to exert effort.
Surely for us this means daily prayer, weekly Eucharist and frequent confession. It means prayerfully reading Gods reading and the teaching of the Church and it means keeping fellowship with the Church, and with fellow believers. All of this equips, empowers and enables us for the work of being a prophet which God has called us to do.
Beyond this there may be other specific gifts God calls us to develop, be it music, learning a second language, growing in the gift of healing, preaching, or administration. What it may be, God will show you and help you to grow the gifts and talents you have received.
In all this you roll up your sleeves for the work God has given and is preparing you for so that you will be an evermore effective prophet.
4. The Prescription of our Call -The text says, tell them all that I command you. In other words, leave nothing out, proclaim the whole counsel of God. Dont just proclaim what appeals to you or jives with you politics and worldview, dont just say what is popular or in sync with currently worldly thinking. Tell them the whole message, in season or out of season.
II. The Courage that is demanded The text says 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 Judahs kings and princes, against its priests and people.
And here note three qualities of a prophet:
Strength - A prophet needs to be strong, for people are stubborn and unwilling to easily change. Indeed, we are collectively a stiff-necked people, we have a neck of iron and forehead of brass. We are thick-headed, willful and obdurate. A prophet has to be willing to endure a lot to move the ball even a few inches. If you dont think were a hard case, look at the cross and see what it took to save us (you). Prophets need strength and persistence.
Support- The prophet (Jeremiah and us) is called a pillar of iron. That is, we are to lend support to a crumbling nation and culture. Whether our culture likes to admit it or not, it is crumbling and collapsing, If it stands any chance at all, it is only that we are willing to be a pillar of iron calling this culture back to modesty, decency, chastity, self control, maturity, obedience to God and generosity to the poor. Otherwise, everything is destined for ruin.
Sadly the Church has often had to pick up the shattered pieces of fallen cultures, nations and eras that refused to repent. But this is what prophets must do, they must be pillars of iron when cultures go weak and soft, or crumble under the weight of pride, sin and un-repentance.
And failing that, we must become, by Gods grace the new foundation and pillar of what rises from the ashes. All of this takes great courage.
Sanctifier - Jeremiah is told that the priests, kings and princes have all been co-opted, and corrupted, and he must speak the truth to them all and summon them to repentance.
Here is the hardest work of the prophet, to call those who most benefit from the status quo, to change and repentance. This is not only hard because they are on top of the current system, but it is also hard because to one degree or another, they are owed respect and obedience as lawful superiors.
Navigating the balance between respect for authority and the summons of them to repentance is not easy and only God can really pull it off. Nevertheless speaking the truth to power is the unenviable lot of the prophet.
Well, fellow prophets this means you and me. I would only urge prayer here. Bishop-bashing and the usual fare of ridiculing political leaders is not the solution. Neither is quiet acquiescence when we are clear that those in authority need to hear a call from the Lord. Lots of prayer and a general tone of respect will surely lead the way. Clarity with charity, and light with love.
III. Conclusion - The text says, They will fight against you but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.
In the end, the truth will out. The Light wins, He always wins. Every night gives way to day and the light scatters darkness. Darkness has its hour but truth has eternity. Good Friday only points to Easter Sunday, and death is cast off like a garment. In the end, every true prophet is on the winning team. While he may endure jail, laughter, ridicule. persecution, setbacks and trials, what every true prophet announces will come to pass. History bears this out and it will be definitively manifest at the Last Day. The darkness cannot prevail, it always gives place to the light.
The Conclusion for the prophet, for the Church, for the Gospel, for the Lord is total victory. It cannot be any other way, God has spoken it and He will do it.
Even if in a small way the Lord Jesus shows this in todays Gospel. The text says,
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.
Here is a preview of Easter, just when Satan is running his victory lap, the Lord casts off death and stands as light in the shadow of the Cross. Satan loses, Jesus wins. That is the conclusion.
So get on the winning team. Pay little heed to the current struggle, it cannot last or win. Jesus has already won.
21 And he began to say to them, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
22 And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, "Is not this Joseph's son?"
23 And he said to them, "Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, 'Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Caper'na-um, do here also in your own country.'"
24 And he said, "Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country.
25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Eli'jah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land;
26 and Eli'jah was sent to none of them but only to Zar'ephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Eli'sha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Na'aman the Syrian."
28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.
29 And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong.
30 But passing through the midst of them he went away.
Jesus confirmed that He is the Messiah.
|Sunday, February 03, 2013
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time