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Full lections can be read here.
Based on the Readings as Set
First Reading (Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10)
Newly returned to Jerusalem from their long exile in Babylon, the Israelites are hungry for the Word of God. Ezra the scribe reads the law of Moses to them, causing them to worship and to weep. They are told to see that day as holy, the joy of the Lord being their strength.
Even though the creation itself cannot speak it nevertheless declares God’s word. Like the sun revives the earth each day, the Law of God joyfully revives the soul. Following it has its own rewards. Our thoughts, as well as our words, need to be in tune with God’s ways.
Second Reading (1 Corinthians 12:12-31a)
St. Paul describes how the followers of Christ are actually all essential members of his body and are each to use spiritual gifts for the common good. It is God alone who distributes these gifts, but some are more important than others and it is these that are to be desired in the community.
Gospel (Luke 4:14-21)
Luke relates how Jesus, at the outset of his ministry, is filled with the Spirit and subject to universal praise. At his home synagogue in Nazareth he publicly identifies with Isaiah’s prophecy of a Spirit-filled figure who will signify the arrival of the Lord’s salvation for Israel.
- The Word of God brings joy to the believer
- The Holy Spirit, having infused the ministry of Jesus now enables and directs his body, the Church
- The new era of salvation introduced by Jesus is the era of the Holy Spirit
- God provides for his people through his Word and his Spirit