Welcoming the Holy

Here we invite you to take time for yourself in personal prayer. The following spiritual reflection offers words and images which we hope will evoke for you an experience of God.


 

Opening Prayer

Loving God of all people, You gift us and ask that we share in an active way to relieve the suffering of others near and far. Please fan the flame of love within us and give us the courage and strength we need to know how best to respond. Amen.
 

Reading 

Luke 4:14-21 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.

He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. “Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Reflection

The readings today are very positive and motivating. The first reading from Nehemiah describes in detail how the priest, Ezra, brought the book of the law before the people, and read it to them for many hours, explaining its meaning. Ezra must have been an extraordinary preacher because all the people listened attentively. Many were moved to tears! When Ezra noticed, he said to the people, “Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength.”
But we may ask ourselves, what reasons can I find for rejoicing in the Lord? One way is to focus on gratitude for all the blessings we have. If we have a roof over our heads, adequate heat, and food to eat, then we are luckier than most of the people in our world! God’s love and grace are ALWAYS enough for us, and that is reason enough to rejoice.
We also have a reading from the First letter of Paul to the Corinthians, in which he continues to elaborate on the image of the body – how the body has many parts, each with its own unique purpose, but is still one body. Each of us is a part of Christ’s body and we each have a function, a special gift that is ours to share wherever we are! Paul also reminds us that when any part of the body suffers, all the parts suffer with it. So, if any other person is suffering, we are called to try to alleviate the pain and its source.

Since we are all children of God, we are each responsible for one another.                                                                          In the Gospel today, Luke recounts how Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth, and according to his custom, went into the synagogue to pray. He stood up to read and was given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.  Jesus unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.   He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”  This is Jesus’ mission – and it is ours as well!

Each person is different, has unique gifts, lives in varying circumstances, so it is up to us to interpret God’s call day by day. It is GOOD NEWS that God invites us to be part of his mission and sobering to realize our responsibility.
Perhaps this beautiful prayer by St. Teresa of Avila can help us to serve with grateful and generous hearts.
“Christ has no body but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours, yours are the eyes with which He looks compassion on the world. Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good, yours are the hands with which He blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are His body. Christ has no body now but yours…
 

Closing Prayer

You challenge us to be Your loving presence today. Enlighten us and free our gifts that they may be best put at the service of others. Thank You for blessing us and believing in us as we care for one another. Amen.
 

Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester

Sisters of Saint Joseph of
Rochester Motherhouse
150 French Road
Rochester, NY 14618

Main: (585) 641-8100
Gift Shop: (585) 641-8137

Make a Gift