Daily Reflection – Jan 24, 2016
Sunday 24 January 2016
First Reading: Nehemiah 8:2-6, 8-10
Your words, Lord, are spirit and life
Psalm 18(19):8-10, 15
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-30
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21
Today’s Saint: St Francis de Sales
Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events
that have been fulfilled among us,
just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning
and ministers of the word have handed them down to us,
I too have decided,
after investigating everything accurately anew,
to write it down in an orderly sequence for you,
most excellent Theophilus,
so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings
you have received.
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,
and news of him spread throughout the whole region.
He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.
He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
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.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
We hear in our first reading of the proclamation of the Law by a man who multi-tasked, Ezra: priest, scribe, and secretary of Jewish affairs in the Persian court. This reading was an event, which rallied the people after the return of the Jewish elites from Babylon. It took at least two days. The Torah gave these refugees their identity. Today’s long reading from Paul gives us our identity. We are the body of Christ. In the gospel, Jesus proclaims his mission, his identity as one who offers good news, who heals, gives sight and sets free. This is a fine way to begin a week dedicated to Christian unity. All Christians continue Christ’s mission, as we hear it from Luke. All Christians have a particular part and function in the Body, which includes us all. Can the Lutherans say to the Baptists “I have no need of you.” Can the evangelicals say to the Catholics, “I have no need of you.” No. And “if one member suffers, all suffer together with it.” If migrants and refugees, victims of war and natural disasters are suffering, and they are, we suffer with them.
How shall we hear the cries of the poor, the migrants, the Haitians and Nepalese, for they too are members of the one Body? How shall we honor those in differing Christian traditions? Pray for our unity, “Jews and Greeks, slave and free,” the settled and the displaced for we “all drink of one Spirit.” Imagine the Spirit, the breath of God, the wind, the atmosphere surrounding the earth, imagine the Spirit healing, unifying, giving freedom and peace.
In you, Christ our kin, there is no male nor female, no Jew nor Greek, but all are one in you. Melt the barriers that separate us, women from men, rich from poor, varying nationalities and religions. Make us one.