Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - C - January 30, 2022
Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
In the first chapter of Jeremiah, YHWH commissioned the prophet to speak to the people without fear. In prophecy, he would be rejected, but his words would stand strong.
4 Now the word of YHWH came to me, saying, 5 "Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you. Before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."
17 "You therefore put your belt on your waist, arise, and speak to them all that I command you. Don't be dismayed at them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 For, behold, I have made you this day a fortified city, and an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against its princes, against its priests, and against the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you; but they will not prevail against you; for I am with you," says YHWH, "to deliver you."
71 was a prayer for the elderly. As the strength of youth slips away, the elderly only has its wisdom and honor. Friends and family might fade away, but God would always be present and faithful.
1 In you, YHWH, I take refuge.
Never let me be disappointed.
2 Deliver me in your righteousness, and rescue me.
Turn your ear to me, and save me.
3 Be to me a rock of refuge to which I may always go.
Give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Rescue me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
5 For you are my hope, Lord YHWH;
my confidence from my youth.
6 I have relied on you from the womb.
You are he who took me out of my mother's womb.
I will always praise you.
7 I am a marvel to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth shall be filled with your praise,
with your honor all the day.
9 Don't reject me in my old age.
Don't forsake me when my strength fails.
10 For my enemies talk about me.
Those who watch for my soul conspire together,
11 saying, "God has forsaken him.
Pursue and take him, for no one will rescue him."
12 God, don't be far from me.
My God, hurry to help me.
13 Let my accusers be disappointed and consumed.
Let them be covered with disgrace and scorn who want to harm me.
14 But I will always hope,
and will add to all of your praise.
15 My mouth will tell about your righteousness,
and of your salvation all day,
though I don't know its full measure.
16 I will come with the mighty acts of the Lord YHWH.
I will make mention of your righteousness, even of yours alone.
17 God, you have taught me from my youth.
Until now, I have declared your wondrous works.
18 Yes, even when I am old and gray-haired, God, don't forsake me,
until I have declared your strength to the next generation,
your might to everyone who is to come.
19 Your righteousness also, God, reaches to the heavens;
you have done great things.
God, who is like you?
20 You, who have shown us many and bitter troubles,
you will let me live.
You will bring us up again from the depths of the earth.
21 Increase my honor,
and comfort me again.
22 I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God.
I sing praises to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips shall shout for joy!
My soul, which you have redeemed, sings praises to you!
24 My tongue will also talk about your righteousness all day long,
for they are disappointed, and they are confounded,
who want to harm me.
Second Readings: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul defined the Church in terms of what will last: charity.
12:31 Always desire the best gifts from God. Better yet, I will show you the way.
13:1 If I speak well and talk the way angels do, yet I don't love others, I just like a loud gong or crashing cymbal. 2 If I speak prophecies, know everything God knows, and move mountains with my great faith, yet I don't love others, I'm completely worthless. 3 If I give everything I have to the poor and give my body over to my persecutors just so I can brag, yet I don't love others, I don't gain a thing.
4 Love is patient and kind. It's not jealous. Love doesn't brag or get full of itself. 5 It doesn't act in shameful ways. It's not selfish. It doesn't get others angry or stir up thoughts of past hurts. 6 It doesn't celebrate others' sins. But it does celebrate when others are faithful. 7 It puts up with everything, trusts God in everything, hopes in everything God does, and bears everything that comes its way.
8 Love will always be there. Our prophecies, our fancy words, and the things we know will fade away. 9 Our knowledge and prophecies are simply not complete. 10 But, when Jesus comes at the end of time, we will know everything. 11 When I was a baby, I spoke like a baby, understood the world like a baby does, and had the brains of a baby. But, when I grew up, I stopped doing all the things I did as a baby. 12 Now we look into a dark mirror. But, soon, we will see everything face to face. Now, I don't know everything. Soon, I will know everything, in the same way God knows me. 13 Faith in God, hope in his promises, and love for others will always be there. But, love is the most important of them all.
12:31 Be jealous for the greater grace-filled gifts.
Still, I will show you a far superior way.
13:1 If I should speak in the tongues of men and angels, and I should not have love, I have become a resonating (piece of ) copper or a crashing cymbal. 2 If ever I should prophesy, and I should know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I should have complete faith to change (the location of) mountains, and I should not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I should pass out my possessions (to the poor) and if I should hand over my body so that I can brag, but I should not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; (it) is not jealous; [love] does not promote itself, is not puffed up, 5 is not shameful, does not seek for itself, does not provoke, does not reason evil, 6 does not rejoice with unrighteous (acts), but rejoices in the truth. 7 (It) bears all, trusts all, hopes all, endures all.
8 Love never fails. But with prophecies, they will be abolished. With tongues, they will cease. With knowledge, it will be abolished. 9 For we know only partially and we prophecy only partially. 10 When the end should come, the partial will be abolished. 11 When I was an infant, I was speaking as an infant, I was understanding as an infant, I was reasoning as an infant. When I have become a man, I have abolished the (things) of an infant. 12 For now we look into a mirror as a riddle, but then, face to face. Now I know partially, then I will know exactly, just as I am also known exactly. 13 Now faith, hope, and love remain. But the greatest of these is love.
Luke presented Jesus as the successful son who returned home. But, when Jesus announced the fulfillment of Scripture about the Messiah and pointed that fulfillment towards himself, the people of Nazareth turned against him. Even their rejection, according to Luke, confirmed his status as the Christ.
Jesus read from Isaiah the prophet.
21 Then, he taught the people there, "Today, this Scripture reading came true as you heard it!"
22 At first, everyone was happy with Jesus. They were really amazed at what he said! So, they began to say, "Isn't this just Joseph's son?"
23 So Jesus spoke up, "You really want to tell me, 'Doctor, heal now! We heard what happened in Capernaum. Do the same things here!' 24 Listen! No preacher is accepted in his hometown. 25 Listen again! In the time of Elijah, there were many widows in Israel when it stopped raining for three and one half years. And there was a great famine everywhere. God didn't sent Elijah to any of them except to the widow Serepta from foreign town of Sidon. In the time of Elisha the prophet, there were many lepers in Israel. None of them were cured except Nanaam, the foreigner from Syria."
28 When they heard his words, everyone in the synagogue got really angry. 29 They stood up and threw Jesus outside Nazareth. Then, they led him up to the edge of hill on which the city was built. They were going to throw down to the bottom of the hill. 30 But, Jesus walked away right through them.
21 HE began to speak to them, "Today, this scripture has been fulfilled while you heard it." 22 All approved of HIM, were amazed at the gracious words coming from HIS mouth, and said, "Is this not Joseph's son?" 23 HE said to them, "No doubt you will tell me this proverb: 'Physician, heal yourself. As much as we heard happen in Capernaum, also do here in your home region.'" 24 He said to them, "Amen, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his home region. 25 In truth I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the heavens were closed for three years and six months, as there was a great famine over all the earth. 26 Elijah was sent to none of them, except Serepta of the Sidon (area), to a widow woman. 27 There were many lepers in Israel (in the time of) Elisha the prophet. None of them were cleansed except Namaan the Syrian." 28 Hearing these (words), all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29 Having stood up, they threw him out of the city and led him to the top of the hill on which their city had been built, so they could throw him off. 30 But he, going through their midst, walked (away).