Dear Believers in Christ,
I urge you to read and reread these three scripture texts today. Most people are lost in faith and yet they do not know how to remedy their lives or how to find God. We have all shapes and sizes of excuses not to pursue God or not to pray or not to learn more about the Church. Many people believe that showing up to Mass is the fix that will lead to heaven. In the meantime, we may remain lost. The scriptures are a school of love so that we can all learn a prophetic voice for our world.
The first reading today from Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19, speaks to us of our creation in God. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” God appoints Jeremiah to proclaim justice and hope for people. Well, God has similar things in mind for us. He wants us to remember that we already belong to him. And from this belonging, comes great responsibility. God wants us to speak out on behalf of people who most need us, people who ache for new life and wholeness. God desires to be in communion with all people.
This desire of God to find every heart so that love may be at home is shown to us in our second reading today. From 1 Corinthians 12: 31-13:13, we hear once again about the spiritual gift of love. This love is not romantic; it is not about a fleeting love that makes us feel good or attracted to intimacy. This is the love God has for us by creating us in the first place. It is the love that forms us into becoming prophets to proclaim justice, protection and hope to people. This is the love that enables us to fall in love with God and then to learn how to live this love in the world by hard choices, strong decisions and courageous acts. This love changes the world and all of us because God alone initiates it within us.This love is our response to God for creating us, for loving us in the first place.
God’s love never fails. This is the love that enables us to grow up. This love gives us a prophetic place in our world. This love is not flimsy, whimsical or fleeting. It is time for us in the Church to put childish ways aside. It is time for all of us in the Church to grow up in wisdom and courage.
The gospel, Luke 4: 21-30, reveals to us that the scriptures are fulfilled in our hearing. The grace from these texts are opened up for us when we hear them at Mass. For our common worship cracks open grace for each us to understand them, if we are truly present to them with our hearts. I encourage you to take this set of scriptures seriously. We all desire integrity and wholeness. What we desire is found in our scripture readings and our common worship at Mass. Please pray with these passages this week. Sit in silence after reading them. Listen to their challenge and their consolation. Please allow love to find you this week.