Sunday, February 3, 2019

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 7:49-50
Mass: Jr 1:4-5, 17-17; Resp Ps 71; 1 Co 12:31-13:13; Lk 4:21-30

But the greatest of these is love.

The people go from one extreme to the other in today's Gospel. At first, after hearing Jesus speak, they 'all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.' Then a voice from the back of crowd emerges, 'Isn't this the son of Joseph?' The ball is rolling and by the end of the story, the people 'were all filled with fury.' That wasn't enough. 'They rose up, drove Jesus out of town, led him to the brow of the hill ready to hurl him down headlong.' From love to hate. One scholar writes this: 'It is a short trip from approval to condemnation.' How easy it is to change our moods, opinions, likes and dislikes based on the demands placed upon us; demands to be our best selves, move out of our comfort zones, to change our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh; demands to serve with another with love especially the poor, outcast, sick, dismissed, weak, vulnerable; those we think unworthy of our love; often the one sitting across the table. 'Isn't this the son of Joseph?'

If I do not have love I am nothing … I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love I 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 wrong-doing but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


I am about to leave for the United Arab Emirates. I am visiting that country as a brother, in order to write a page of dialogue together, and to travel paths of peace together. Pray for me!
(Pope Francis, Twitter, February 3, 2019)

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