Readings and Reflection for Sunday January 30, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time


FIRST READING             
“I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
A reading from the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19)

In the days of Josiah the word of the Lord came to me saying. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. But you, gird up your loins; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its princes, it priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the LORD, to deliver you.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Psalm 71:1-2. 3-4a. 5-6ab. 15ab and 17 (R. see 15ab)
R/. my mouth will tell of your salvation, Lord

In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
Let me never be put to shame.
In your justice, rescue me, free me;
Incline your ear to me and save me. R/.

Be my rock, my constant refuge,
A mighty stronghold to save me,
For you are my rock, my stronghold.
My God, free me from the hand of the wicked. R/.

R/. my mouth will tell of your salvation, Lord.

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth;
from my mother’s womb, you have been my help. R/.

My mouth will tell of your justice,
and all the day long of your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and I proclaim your wonders still. R/.

“Faith, hope, love abide, but the greatest of these is love. ”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 12:31- 13: 13)

Brethren: Earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

The word of the Lord

ALLELUIA Luke 4: 18
Alleluia. The Lord has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives. Alleluia

Jesus, like Elijah and Elisha, was not sent only to the Jews.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 4:21-30)

At that time: Jesus began to say in the synagogue, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here also in your own country. ”’ And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. But passing through the midst of them he went away.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Truth can sometimes be bitter but truth must be spoken. Yes, there are rewards as also other consequences for speaking the truth. The fact is that all of us want acceptance but one possible consequence of speaking the truth is rejection. Jeremiah and Jesus surely would have loved the people of their time to accept the teachings of God that they proclaimed but they had to face rejection for speaking the truth. Our world today prefers lies rather than truth, forgetting that the word of God is a double-edged sword. We must therefore stand up and speak out for truth, justice and right. As Christians, we cannot but speak the truth always, for God is truth. Going the other way would mean that we prefer to follow the devil, the father of lies’. Yes, they will fight against you for proclaiming and living the life of Christ but they will never prevail because the lord has made you ‘a pillar of iron, a fortified city, a wall of brass’. Let our daily endeavours be not just to know the truth but to speak the truth so that the truth can set us free.


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