“At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them.” (LK 4: 42)
We can see a totally different reaction in Capernaum (“they tried to prevent him from leaving them”) than in Nazareth, where Jesus, in his hometown, was rejected. In every generation we are “looking for Him” because with Him we are stronger, we are loved and we are protected. It is always good to start our days with Him: “at daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.” It doesn’t matter if it is downtown or a village, my study or bedroom, a couch or coffee table—the only important thing is to be with Him alone for a moment.
“The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor and to proclaim liberty to captives.” (Gospel Acclamation
“What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” (LK 4: 36)
We are surrounded by words—we receive many messages, emails, texts and chats—we know how important words are. They deliver crucial information for our business and life, but they also deliver the most critical messages for our relationship: “I love you,” “I will take care of you,” “I will protect you and support you,” or “thank you for being with me—it was important to me,” etc. Sometimes words are lies. It happens. Fortunately Our Lord always has words for us, which, with “authority and power,” speak about His love for us. He is the loving Way, the Truth and the Life.
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” (1 COR 2: 3-5)
“Not on human wisdom but on the power of God” the Good News is spread. God takes care of us and of our evangelization—He expects a 100% commitment from us, but the100% “spirit and power” comes from Him, “so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God.” (SIR 3: 17-18)
We know how much easier it is for us to be “a giver of gifts.” The gifts are important; they say something about our relationship, but there is something more than “a giver of gifts”—a true giver of self. With this comes everything.
“Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord, and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. (1 COR 1: 26)
God looks and thinks of us as individuals who are called. Everybody is called and has a special mission in the Church; no one is excluded because of “human standards.” The reasons we are called are known to Him alone. He doesn’t expect us to be wise (by human standards, of course), to be powerful or to be of noble birth. We are called because we are His children, and everything that we need we receive from Him—the only reason for our call is to “love one another as I have loved you.”
“I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you.”
“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 COR 1: 18)
The cross still speaks, and its message: “to us, who are being saved it is the power of God.” The cross does not bring suffering, martyrdom or pain but the saving power of God, who always takes care of us and brings to us whatever we need to grow.
“Be vigilant at all times and pray, that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 COR 1: 8-9)
Jesus Christ is not only our Lord, Redeemer and Savior but also our companion—“we were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” The closer we are to Him, the safer we are: “He will keep us firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We are always protected.
“Stay awake! For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.” (2 THESS 2: 16-17)
Our Lord is always protecting, always encouraging, and always “strengthening us in every good deed and word.” We are His children and He knows how much we need His support and grace. Fortunately for us, “the word of God is living and effective,” and we can expect from Him all the best.
“The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“We always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 THESS 1: 11-12)
The most blessed gift we can offer to our brothers and sisters or to our friends and neighbors is: “we always pray for you.” God will know when, where and how to “bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith.” In this holy union—our prayer and God’s will—everything is possible.
“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” (LK 13: 30)
Those called last (the Gentiles) will precede those to whom the invitation to enter was first extended (the Jews). We received an invitation to be closer to God. It is not important to God how many times we refuse or ignore His invitation; the only important thing is to Him is—how much we try to answer; again and again.
“I am the way, the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father, except through me.” (Gospel Acclamation)