January 21, 2007 3rd Sunday   Year C

Nehemiah 8:2-10
I Cor.12:12-20
Luke: 1:1-4, 4:14-21

In each Mass we have the liturgy of the Word, i.e. reading of the the Bible. "Jesus speaks to us today, especially when the Scriptures are read in Church" (Vat.II) . The Bible is God's message to us and we need his light to get the deep meaning. When we hear or listen to Scripture always have this attitude: 'what message does this Scripture have for me, NOW?' The Bible is God's message for everyday life.
Let us look at today's reading.
The 1st reading is a scene from the old testament around 600 B.C. The Jews had just returned to Jerusalem after forced exile in Babylon. But the Temple and Jerusalem was in ruins. They were discouraged: ' we cannot possible rebuild' Ezra read the Scripture to them and the People got anew heart, wonderful feeling of encouragement. The Scriptures, and God work the same for us today!
In the second reading Paul uses a parable. Each church community has people who have talents, small or large. Let each work together in unity, just like a human body had different parts but works as one body. Please, never say that you are useless! In one church I was in a lady said that she was a little toe. She saw that the 8 toilets in the church had paper. Some because of age, health etc cannot be active, but they are sure most valuable by praying for all.
In the Gospel Jesus tells us why He came on this earth as a human.
Do you feel you own poverty? Unable to do or remember things? A feeling of inadequacy? Rely on God's strength. That is what Jesus tells us to do. He gives us that always Good News that God loves us as we are.
Do you feel a captive to a person, place or habit? Jesus gives liberation.
Are you blind to another's suffering? Pray for new sight - Jesus gives it .
Are you downtrodden? Are your ground down by being too busy, or by stress? Jesus has come to set you free. Each can read the Scriptures with what is going on in your heart. Read slowly, prayerfully - there will be a small bell ring in your heart.
The Scriptures have an eternal present tense. They are for you NOW.

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