4TH SUNDAY , YEAR C. (3RD FEB. 2019)
(Jeremiah 1:4_5,17-19; Psalm 71; 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13; Luke 4:21-30).

Today the Church reminds us that, we are all prophets by our calling as Christians. For us to carry out this mission, Obedience to God’s word and love for the people are major motivations for us to be successful in our prophetic roles/mission to the world. How do we hear God’s Word? With our ears alone? “Today”, said Jesus after speaking in the synagogue, “this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk 4:21). Do we hear God’s Word with our minds alone? We are to hear God’s Word with our hearts. The ear of the heart can hear even the lowest sound.

The call of Jeremiah in the first reading reminds us of what we had experienced at our baptism. The strong words that the prophet heard from God speak a whole lot about whom we are. “Before you were born, I knew you”, “I formed you”, “I consecrated you” and “I appointed you as prophet to the nations”. (Jer. 1:5). Do we see ourselves in these? The soul that receives God’s Word will experience joy, even though its body may be bound with hatred and fire. And it is the responsibility of those who experience the joy of the Good News to share it with their neighbours. To some Responsibility and Duty are the most unpleasant words that can be found in their dictionary or on paper. But God himself lays this responsibility on every Christian at Baptism, as he said to Jeremiah.

The question today is: are we still on Duty or have we because of our attachment to material things of the world, shame, or lack of will or the hatred of the world, failed in our mission to stand for truth and justice? Are we docile to the gospel of Jesus Christ? Since our Lord, Jesus Christ was not spared from such deep-seated hatred even from his kinsmen, we should expect such antagonism when we stand for the truth and what is right. The Good News has a tendency to arouse opposition among the unbelieving and neighbours. But we need not be discouraged.

In the second reading, Paul let us know that in our various calls be it Prophecy, Healing, Counsel, Service, etc one has to posses and radiate love to complement your calling. Let us continually come forward to share the Good News with Love, the greatest gift we can offer a person, for it is spirit and life. Don’t tend to make excuses, such as I am too young, too busy, too uncertain, too uneducated. All are needed to take part in the building of the Kingdom, there is work to be done by everyone.
The examples of Jeremiah, Elijah, Elisah and our Lord, Jesus Christ today should necessity our saying ‘yes’ to God on daily basis. Let us therefore begin our service of the Gospel, and begin where we are, as Jesus began his ministry in his own native land of Galilee.

Martin Burber is a theologian versed in the Hebrew Bible and such knows a lot about Israel being God’s people. As a German Jew in the 20th century, he also experienced firsthand what being a Jew means under the Nazi regime. He once said that whenever he comes to heaven and is opportune to meet the God of Israel, he would ask if the Jews are really His chosen people. Should God answer to the affirmative, he (Martin Buber) will suggest to Him that He should better choose another people and leave the Jews alone.