Thoughts on the Readings for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) 2016

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.

“Who do you think you are?”  Often this question is asked derisively when someone who is known and familiar seems to be acting arrogant or big-headed.   In our Gospel this Sunday we are told that Jesus returned to the synagogue in Galilee,  and while people were “amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.   They also asked:  ‘Isn’t this the son of Joseph?’ "  Jesus was known and familiar to the people and they couldn’t imagine that he could be anything other then they perceived him to be.   Jesus, though, challenged their thinking:  “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.”  

In response to this, however, we are told that when “the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury.”   

It is all too easy to lock people into our perception of them and not allow them to be anything other than that.  This is what happened in our Gospel today.   The challenge for all of us is to see people as God sees them, and not simply from our limited human perspective.   

Our first reading this Sunday is from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah.   In the section we read this Sunday God spoke to Jeremiah and reminded him that he need not be afraid of his calling. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.“   In a similar way all of us have been called and chosen by God, and are precious in God’s eyes.  

For our second reading this Sunday we continue to read from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. The section we read this Sunday is Paul’s well known and beautiful reflection on love.    

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. When have you had to change your perception of someone because you have learned something new about them? 
  2. Have you ever felt yourself being called by God to do something?
  3. How does love find expression in your life?  


1. Too often I have accepted a person’s own opinion of him or herself at face value. That is, if the person seemed to think highly of him or herself, so did I. After all, who was I to assume otherwise? Over time, however, I have learned that not everyone is as great as they think they are, while others seem to have no idea just how wonderful they are.
2. Although I cannot explain how or why, for several months now I have felt called by God to muster my abilities and join His faithful staff in serving The Basilica. What could this mean?
3. Love finds expression in my life the way water and light find expression in moss. Gracing each cell, they enable the tiny plant to flourish.


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