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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Build a Monument



 Build a Monument

Some lines from the poem "A Priest Is Always Wrong Because..." come to me as I reflect on today’s readings: 

If he begins his Mass on time, his watch is advanced; if he begins a minute later, he keeps people waiting; 
If he preaches too long, he makes people get bored; if his homily is too short, he is unprepared.
If he is young, he has no experience; if he is old, he should retire.

The point of the poem is in the last line:

As long as he lives, there will always be someone to criticize than him. But if he dies, there is no one to replace him.

In today's Gospel, Jesus went home to Nazareth. He went into the synagogue and proclaimed a passage from Isaiah that read, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me..." He ended it with a personal declaration, "Today, this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." Then it ended with people asking one another, "Isn't this Joseph's son?"

Those words were uttered with sarcasm and disbelief that a local boy so familiar to them is now styling himself as a prophet. Noticing their malice, Jesus would later declare, "Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown." Haters will always hate. Bashers will always bash. In the Philippine social media, bashing has become an art. In fact, we have made it into a profession.

It’s a good thing Jesus did not care about the number of likes His sermon gathered. He is not even bothered when people turn away from Him when He delivers a teaching difficult to accept (see John 6:66). His self-esteem was not dependent on public perception. I guess Jesus lived by this principle: When people throw stones at you, don’t throw them back. Gather them and build a monument.

He teaches because He has a message to deliver (that is a prophet), not because He has to deliver a message (a pleaser). Fr. Joel Jason


reflection question
Are you a prophet or a pleaser?

Consecrate me in the truth, O Lord, and strengthen me to proclaim it. Amen.

Today, I pray for: ____________________________________________________

Daily Bible Reading - January 7, 2021

 


First Reading | 1 John 4:19–5:4

We love God because He first loved us. He loved us into existence, and we continue to live through this same love. In return, let us give Him thanks for this grace and look for ways to love Him and our neighbor. Let us prove that love really makes the world go round.

19 Beloved, we love God because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, "I love God," but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the father loves also the one begotten by him. 2 In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4 for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.


Responsorial Psalm | Psalm 72:1-2, 14-15, 17

R: Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

1 O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king's son. 2 He shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment. (R) 14 From fraud and violence he shall redeem them, and precious shall their blood be in his sight. 15 May they be prayed for continually; day by day shall they bless him. (R) 17 May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim his happiness. (R)


Gospel | Luke 4:14-22

In today's Gospel, the verses from Isaiah bring a great sense of expectation. How does it feel to await the Messiah's coming? The potential to transform, the power to perform miracles, and the dynamism of God's Word are inherent in these. Let us be living examples of what is being prophesied here. 

Gospel Acclamation

The Lord has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor and to proclaim liberty to captives.

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. 15 He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all. 16 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 17 and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: 18 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, 19 and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. 20 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. 21 He said to them, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." 22 And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.


Reflect:

"You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16)



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