4th Sunday Ordinary Time

From The WORD in other Words (2019) by Fr Felix Ferrer SVD (Philippines)

Jeremiah 1,4-5.17-19
1 Corinthians 12,31-13,13
Luke 4,21-30

What can the readings of today offer for our reflection? One can use the acronym l-a-u-d to express the message of today’s readings. We have every reason to laud the Lord for. In what way can we see this reality?

L – is for Love, the more excellent way and the greatest of all as shown by St Paul in the Second Reading. “For love never fails… It is patient, kind, rejoices with the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things… And the greatest of these is love.”

A – is for Acceptance of the excluded and the whole community as offered by Jesus in the Gospel reading. Jesus takes a stand and defines his mission: to proclaim the Good News to the poor, to proclaim liberation to prisoners, to give back sight to the blind, to restore liberty to the oppressed. After finishing the reading, he updated the text and says: “Today this text is fulfilled even while you are listening!”

U – is the Universality of salvation as revealed in the two stories of Jesus towards the end of the Good News on the prophets Elijah and Elisha who were concerned about foreigners — a widow of Zarephath during the severe famine and Naaman the Syrian who was cured of leprosy.

D – is for Deliverance of the Israelites from their enemies according to the prophet Jeremiah in the First Reading. “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.”

In the end, the message of the God of Jesus went beyond the limits of race of the Jews. This was why he came; that was why he died; that was why he rose from the dead!

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