Thursday after Epiphany, Jan 7

1 John 4:19 - 5:4 / Luke 4:14-22

Jesus worships with the community; He went to the synagogue, as usual.

 Jesus worshiped with his friends and neighbours in two places: the synagogue and the Temple. Every village and town had a synagogue. But there was only one Temple, and that was in Jerusalem. The synagogue was chiefly a place of instruction.

People gathered there to hear God's Word read and explained, as we see in today's reading. The Temple, on the other hand, was chiefly a place of sacrifice. People gathered there to offer gifts to God. Our Liturgy of the Word corresponds roughly to the synagogue service of instruction; our Liturgy of the Eucharist, to the Temple service of sacrifice.


How well do we understand the structure and the flow of the liturgy of the Mass? "The effect of our sharing in the body and blood of Christ is to change us into what we receive." St. Leo the Great


Quite a number of us gathered here attend Mass almost daily. We attend Mass daily because it has become a spiritual staple diet for us. So we come to Mass to listen to the Word of God and to receive Him in Holy Communion. Also, we experience the strength to live out of faith and we also find peace from the noisy world. 

The Mass is indeed a celebration of love - God's love for us and we can only respond with love and to live lives of love. So, it goes without saying that if we come for daily Mass, then we ought to be more loving and to grow more and more in love for God and for others. Yet, if that is not the case then we need to do some serious reflection and examination of our spiritual lives. 

So, we need to examine our conscience. Am I growing to be more loving and forgiving, patient and kind, faithful to the truth and persevering in faith and hope? As the 1st reading puts it, anyone who says "I love God" and hates his brother is a liar, since a man who does not love the brother he can see cannot love God, whom he has never seen. So let us pray that at every Mass we will be filled with God's love and be filled with the Spirit so that we will proclaim God's love in our lives. May it begin with today and may it be fulfilled today even as we listen.


Opening Prayer

Lord God, loving Father, here in this Eucharistic assembly you let your Son speak to us today his stirring word of hope and joy. Pour out on us the Spirit of Jesus, let him open us to the word of your Son and to his living presence, that we too may go out to our brothers and sisters to speak to them his liberating word, to be his healing presence, and to be grace to all whom we encounter, on account of your Son in our midst, Jesus Christ, our Lord for ever.