Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

January 24 A..D. 2010

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 15
1 Corinthians 12:12-30 or 12:12-14, 27
Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

A reflection on today's Scripture:

With each passing day, we find it easier to write "2010" on our checks and papers. But we also realize there's not much difference from "2009" in our daily living. We realize with that sinking feeling that we are living in another year of fears and uncertainties. In world, national and local news, there's not much to lift our spirits. More than ever before, we need to lean on God's Word and presence in our lives.

Fortunately, there's a treasure of hope in this Sunday's readings, beginning with Nehemiah, appointed by King Artaxerxes to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, which lay in ruins following the exile. The spirits of the people also needed rebuilding, so Ezra, the priest, dusts off the neglected scrolls of the law and calls all the people together, even the children who are old enough to understand.

From morning to night, Ezra reads to them the Law. Most had neglected its precepts for years. As they hear it read and explained by Ezra, they begin to weep tears of joy and of sorrow. After recommitting their lives to the Lord, they express their joy with days of feasting.

Today's Gospel describes an even greater "reading." As Jesus formally begins His mission on earth, He starts with His hometown of Nazareth. There, in the synagogue on a Sabbath, He reads to the people from the passage in Isaiah which proclaims the coming messianic age. In a voice filled with the fire of the Spirit, He announces to them Isaiah's prophecy of a time of good news to the poor, liberty for captives, recovery of sight to the blind and freedom for the oppressed. Then, handing the scroll to an attendant, He proclaims to all present, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." These words are the core of Jesus' message to both the people of His day and of our times! Talk about a reason to hope!

In today's second reading from St. Paul to the Corinthians, we find a blueprint for acting on the two readings we have heard. Some reflection points out the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on Nehemiah and Ezra and on Jesus. St. Luke tells us in the Gospel that Jesus came from the desert to Nazareth "in the power of the Spirit."

It is the Spirit, too, that came upon us in our Baptism and Confirmation to make us part of the Body of Christ. The Church is one body, but made up of many members. How very different we are! St. Paul tells us that there are "important" members and "not-so-important" members. However, we are all needed, and must respect and support one another in charity. Why? So that this new messianic age may one day be realized.

Meditating on today's readings gives us every reason to hope and to act in 2010 as a unified Body of Christ, with our many gifts , witnessing and working for the fulfillment of the Kingdom.

~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore | email: pwhitmore29@yahoo.com

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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