4th Sunday of the Year. (c)
Ordinary Season of the Year. (c)
Weekdays – Year 2.
Catholic Education Week.
Sunday 31st January: 4th Sunday of the Year (c).
The first reading is from the Prophet Jeremiah. God reveals to him that divine strength will be given to him to help him carry out his role as a prophet.
The second reading is from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. St. Paul stresses the primacy of love in the life of a Christian. He gives examples of how love should be evident in their lives.
The Gospel, from St. Luke, shows how Jesus shared the fate of many of the prophets who had gone before him. He is not accepted in his own town by his own people.
Monday 1st February: Monday in the 4th week of the year.
David had two sons, Solomon and Absalom. Absalom tried to destroy him following on his own punishment of banishment for the murder of his half-brother Amnon. This is a fulfilling of part of the prophecy of Nathan we heard last week. David fled from Jerusalem as Absalom and his armies approach.
The Gospel presents the strange story of the demons and the pigs. St. Mark recounts the sure of a man suffering violent convulsions. The miracle reveals Jesus’ power to rescue from anything that separates us from God. The fact this incident also takes place in non-Jewish countryside is a sign that Jesus’ mission is not unrelated to the gentiles.
Tuesday 2nd February: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
This is a feast both of Jesus and of Our Blessed Lady. We commemorate the presentation of Jesus in the temple, forty days after his birth in accordance with the Law of Moses. It shows us the obedience of Mary and Joseph to the law of God, given to Israel. Through the eyes of faith, the presentation was the fulfilment of God’s promises to his people.
Wednesday 3rd February: Wednesday in the 4th Week of the Year.
This is the last account of the events of David’s life. He took a census of the people. This was deemed as wrong because it implied a lack of trust in God and showed David depended on the numbers he could muster for his army. This was David’s public sin and the people were punished for it by experiencing great pestilence.
In the Gospel, we move from great faith to great doubt. Jesus is not accepted by his own community who found it hard to have faith in him and so he moves on.
Optional Memorial of St. Blaise.
Very little is known about St. Blaise. It seems he was born of a rich and noble family, received a Christian education and was made a Bishop when quite young. During persecution, he spent much of his time hiding. Many people came to his cave seeking cures and one story tells of how he cured a young boy who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The practice of the blessing of the throats with crossed candles grew from this story. St. Blaise was martyred in Armenia about 316.
Thursday 4th February: Thursday in the 4th week of the year.
The Book of Samuel dealt with Samuael, Saul and david. The Book of Kings from the first reading is taken deals with the aftermath of David’s rule. His son, Solomon, succeeded him so now we hear of his reign including the building of the Temple and his eventual unfaithfulness. David encourages Solomon to be faithful to the ways of God.
Jesus sends his disciples out on their first mission – this was to be their first test of faith. They brought the healing power of Jesus to many.
Friday 5th February: Memorial of St. Agatha.
Agatha suffered martyrdom at Catania in Sicily in the year 250. She refused marriage so that she could give all her time to caring for the sick and the poor. Even the threats and torture inflicted on her could not sway and she was martyred.It is believed that through her intercession, Catania was saved from an eruption of Mount Etna. As a result, she is invoked against any outbreak of fire.
Saturday 6th February: Memorial of St. Paul Miki and his companions.
St. Frances Xavier had brought Christianity to Japan about 1549. By 1587, there were said to be over two hundred Christians but at this stage, the emperor ordered all missionaries to leave the country, afraid of their growing influence. Some stayed behind in disguise. In 1597, 26 Christians, mostly Japanese were crucified in different ways over a period of time. The group was made up of 6 Franciscans, 3 Japanese catechists, Including Paul Miki) and 17 Japanese lay people. Paul Miki was highborn Japanese and an eminent Jesuit preacher. He prayed for the conversion of his executioners and forgave them.
The light of God
The love of God
The power of God
The presence of God
Watches over us;
Wherever we are,
And all is well.