Neh. 8:2-4, 5-6, 8-10 | Ps. 19:8-10, 15 | 1Cor. 12:12-30 | Lk. 1:1-4; 4:14-21
The first reading from Nehemiah presents Ezra, as priest, reading the book of the law to all the men, women and children of Israel. At the end of this reading, Ezra tells the people not to be sad but rather be happy and to celebrate this day greatly. Paul is celebrating the human body and the Body of Christ. If we understand the workings of the human body, then we will come to see that all of us, as members of Christ’s Body, the Church, need to work together to keep the Body of Christ together. We are members of this Body through our baptism. Each has a part to play in carrying out all the works of the Church. To do so, we have each received our own gifts and talents. In using these gifts to the best of our ability we bring about a wonderful unity for all the churches. Mark relates the story of Jesus’ standing before the Jews and proclaiming the scripture passage from Isaiah. This is a passage that should catch our attention and our response. Jesus proclaims that He has been anointed by the Spirit to proclaim liberty, recovery of sight, freeing the slaves and proclaiming a year acceptable to the Lord. Jesus completes this proclamation saying: “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your midst. What a statement! We are called to listen to these words and to see how we proclaim God’s Word. To whom do we proclaim this message? Who is healed? What oppression has ceased because of our proclamation?
Take time to pray to these words of Jesus. Allow yourself to feel Christ’s call. Notice how this call will help build up the Body of Christ. In what one way will you put this scripture into practice today?