January 24, 2016 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Nehemiah 8:2-6, 8-10

Psalm 19:8-10, 15
1 Corinthians 12:12-30
Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

Today’s Audio Readings

Today is holy to your Lord your God. (Nehemiah 8:9)

In today’s first reading, the Israelites were reaffirming their covenant with the Lord as they listened to Ezra the priest reading and interpreting the Scriptures. Having had their city overrun, having been sent into exile, and now having returned as a ragtag group to try to rebuild their lives, the people had endured one humiliating event after the other. But now, they saw a light at the end of the tunnel. They were beginning to come together again.

Ezra gave the people three short messages. First, he told them, “Today is holy to your Lord.” Then, he urged them to celebrate their deliverance with “rich foods” and “drink.” Then, he told them, “Rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:9-10).

This reading also describes the people’s response. They gathered for the entire morning, from daybreak until midday, to pray. And their prayer was one of full involvment: They listened “attentively.” They stood up, raised their hands, bowed down in worship, and cried out, “Amen, amen” (Nehemiah 8:3, 6).

Now, let’s shift our minds to today. Each Sunday, we come to Mass to celebrate what God has done for us. As the day of the resurrection, every Sunday is holy. Like the Israelites, we celebrate our deliverance from death. And like them, we look forward to our final homecoming—heaven. We have much to celebrate!

So let’s be sure to come to Mass today ready to express our gratitude for Jesus’ cross and to rejoice in our freedom.

But there is more. If you come with a listening heart, the word of God will come to life for you. Jesus’ sacramental presence will fill your heart with his love and his grace to live a holy life. If you come with the right disposition, as the Israelites did, God will surely fill you up!

“Thank you, Jesus, for your deliverance! Lord, I believe in you and celebrate your love today.”~WAU

 

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About gemdk

I am a cradle Catholic who made my first Holy Communion over 5o years ago at All Saints Catholic Church in Houston,TX in 1961. Went to Mass every Sunday as a child and teen and then young adult. Fell away for about 12 years in the late 80's, early 90's and then realized what was missing in my life was my Catholic upbringing and faith. Found my home at Sacred Heart in Crosby. Filling up the void I had for those 12 years in more ways than I can imagine, loving every minute of it. But this blog is not about me as much as it is for me and anyone who wants/needs to hear the word of God. I'm merely the instrument God uses to post the readings.
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