St. Raymond of Penafort, priest
＊＊＊ 1st Reading ＊＊＊
1 John 4:19-5:4
So let us love one another, since he loved us first.
If you say, “I love God,” while you hate your brother or sister, you are a liar. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your brother whom you see? We received from him this commandment: let those who love God also love their brothers.
All those who believe that Jesus is the Anointed, are born of God; whoever loves the Father, loves the Son. How may we know that we love the children of God? If we love God and fulfill his commands,
for God’s love requires us to keep his commands. In fact, his commandments are not a burden because all those born of God overcome the world. And the victory which overcomes the world is our faith.
Ps 72:1-2, 14 & 15bc, 17
Lord every nation on earth will adore you.
＊＊＊＊ Gospel ＊＊＊＊
Jesus acted with the power of the Spirit, and on his return to Galilee the news about him spread throughout all that territory. He began teaching in the synagogues of the Jews and everyone praised him.
When Jesus came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the book of the prophet Isaiah.
Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed and announce the Lord’s year of mercy.”
Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down, while the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he said to them, “Today these prophetic words come true even as you listen.”
All agreed with him and were lost in wonder, while he kept on speaking of the grace of God. Nevertheless they asked, “Who is this but Joseph’s son?”
Jesus returned to the place where He grew. He returned a changed man. He is still the Son of Mary and Joseph, a carpenter by trade but is now something more. Thus He was given the honor of reading the book on a Sabbath Day.
It’s funny how sometimes a journey could change us a lot. If Jesus remained in Nazareth and not baptized by John, His ordinary life would have continued. Would He achieve great stature had He not lift? We will never know.
But now, because He lift His hometown, He returned as an esteemed and honored man. So how about us? Do we have the courage to embark on a journey that will transform lives forever?