God prepares us for his ministry…
The fourth Sunday reading reminds us that we are called to live out our faith. Through our baptism we received a call to be his ambassadors of Christ. The first reading from the book of Jeremiah tells his own story. God called the prophet from the womb and equipped him with courage to face the challenges. Jeremiah faced opposition in his ministry and people tried to kill him. We see a similar experience for Jesus in the Gospel reading. He faces the opposition in his hometown.
The meaning of the name Jeremiah is “The Lord will restore.” He served as priest and prophet during the dark time of Israel which led to the invasion of Judah by the King of Babylon and destruction of Jerusalem and Temple. According to tradition, Jeremiah took the Ark of the Covenant from the Jerusalem Temple and hid it in a cave on Mount Nebo, before Babilonian came and destroyed the Temple. Jeremiah and his ministry went through several significant and tragic events.
This Sunday Gospel from Luke is a continuation from last Sunday. Last Sunday we saw Jesus read from the Book of Isaiah 61:1-2 and gave the shortest sermon, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” This Sunday Gospel starts with this shortest sermon of Jesus. We all were amazed by his words and authenticity, at the same time there was opposition, and drove him out of town. They demanded arrogantly for the external sign. That point Jesus quotes from the Old Testament to tell them their lack of faith. He said, in the days of the prophet Elijah and Elisha, the Israelites were unfaithful that God gave his blessing to the gentiles. Elijah took care of a Gentile widow in Sidon (IKing 17:9), and Elisha healed a leper from Syria (2King 5:10-14). Jesus criticized their lack of faith.
The second reading from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians brings a core message for this Sunday. Paul talks about love. One of the well-known chapters in the New Testament. Paul emphasizes the significance of love (charity) as the greatest of all gifts. Any other gift exercised apart from charity is empty. Therefore charity must inspire every virtue. Look at Jesus he emptied himself, left his glory and came to be with us out of love. We see the culmination of love on the Cross. His love continues to touch us through Sacraments, especially through the Eucharist, so we can go out and continue the ministry he entrusted us through our baptism.
Survey: Thank you everyone who participated in the survey. We want to hear from everyone. I would encourage you to fill out the survey and ask you to print your name. Whatever your consideration for the future of our school building, you have the right to voice it out. But before you fill out the survey please have a moment of prayer and ask for guidance of the Holy Spirit. As I mentioned in the letter, we have two options: reopen the Catholic school or give it away to the building for $1. January 30 - February 5, we are celebrating Catholic School Week. Isn’t it a great thing if we could come with a plan for our school building. A good number of the desire to reopen the school, and are ready to make a commitment by sending children or financially supporting (over a million dollar) if we have a viable plan. It is a good start but not enough. There are people supporting the idea to give away the building for $ 1. Please fill out the survey and don’t forget to print your name and address. Thank you.