Sunday 27 January 2019

The Third Sunday In Ordinary Time 2019

The Third Sunday In Ordinary Time 2019

Our readings this week are:

First Reading Nehemiah 8:2-6, 8-10 
Responsorial Psalm 19:7, 8, 9, 14 Response John 6:63
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 12:12-30
Gospel Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21

Our first reading this week is from the time of Israel’s return from exile. After the law is read, they mourn. They recognized that they had not been living the law. But Ezra and Nehemiah tell them:

“This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then Ezra said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength”

I think of those today who celebrate sin, who flaunt the laws of God and the laws of nature. I doubt if they had the word of God read to them, they would immediately mourn and convert. I think about the new law in New York State, allowing abortion up to the moment of birth. And the celebrations and rejoicing over this ‘progressive’ law. I think about the vote last year on abortion in Ireland. And I think about the mistakes in my own life. Both what I have done, and what I have failed to do. What I have said and what I have failed to say. And I think about the joy and peace after a good confession. And to be honest I struggle there are some sins I confess regularly. But I am trying. I am striving. I think about this meme from a friend who writes at The Cordial Catholic. 

I also think about a new book ‘Remember Your Death: Lenten Devotional’ by Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble FSP. How many people today live their whole life without thinking about their death. About the four last things, Death Judgement, Heaven, and Hell? 

The response this week is an answer to all of those questions and reflections:

“Your words, Lord, are spirit and life.”

But in order to know that life, we need to be interacting with those words of life. Like the Israelites we need to listen to the word as community. We also need to be studying the word personally. And we need to try and live it. It cannot just be an intellectual activity, it needs to have an impact on our life. 

The reading from Corinthians speaks about the many parts one body. The older I get the more I understand and appreciate this passage. I also believe that God the Father through the Spirit is still giving the gifts of:


I have seen different gifts in my life at different phases. And I have seen them in the lives of friends, family, and fellow parishioners. But one of the things that has served me over the years if persistence, and prayer. Between these two God has brought me through so many things. And I believe he will bring us through what we are facing as a family. And all that comes our way in the future. And then we come to this weeks Gospel.  Jesus declaring the day of the Lord. He publicly claims to fulfill the scriptures. Me trust in that claim is central to my life and trying to live out that belief. And so, I encourage you, if you are a believe grow that knowledge, grow in the faith and in living it out. If you are not, I challenge you to read the gospels with an open heart. For one day we will all die and be called to give an account.

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