Feb. 3, 2019: 4th Sunday C
Our Lord knows our capacity to rise above darkness as well as our tendency to give in to evil. God told Prophet Jeremiah that before we were formed in our mother’s womb, God knew us intimately. Our Lord also knew how fickle his hometown folks in Nazareth could be. Last week, we heard how Jesus impressed his hometown folks who came to the synagogue and heard his preaching. This week we are told that people in that same synagogue felt insulted and became incensed by part two of Jesus’ sermon. They were so angry that they took Jesus out to a cliff to throw him off. His hometown’s violent rejection foreshadowed Jesus’ mission as well as his destiny--to set free those under the power of evil and to pay for the price of our freedom with the sacrifice of his own life.
What is the greatest spiritual gift for which we should strive? It’s God’s Love--His patience, His kindness, His perseverance, His Trust, and His Hope. God wants us to “borrow” His Love in order for us to love Him and our neighbor perfectly. How do we borrow His Love? Do we check it out from some library? In fact, we are going to borrow His Love in a few moments when the Holy Spirit transforms our meager offerings represented by the earthly bread and wine into the real flesh and blood of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, through your prayers and the prayers of the priest. Then representing all of us present in this church, the priest lifts the two gifts--Jesus’ flesh and blood--and says to God the Father, “Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours forever and ever. Amen.” At that moment, we offer to God the Father, Jesus’ infinite sacrifice of love to the Father; at that moment, Jesus’ sacrifice becomes our sacrifice, and we love God perfectly with his own divine love. Even after Holy Mass, we are the living and walking Tabernacles, taking within us the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit who empowers us to be able to love God and others in ordinary situations of life.