Readings for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Jeremiah 1:4-10; 1 Corinthians 12:31b-13:13; Luke 4:31-44

“But nobody will listen to me!!” It is just the first of many laments the worry-prone prophet Jeremiah will raise to heaven. He is too young, he says. Why should anyone listen to him? Jeremiah’s problem is that he can’t take his eyes off himself and his own shortcomings. To the young prophet these look like insurmountable problems; to the LORD they are nothing. “I will send…I will command…I will be with you to deliver you”. Straighten up, Jeremiah. God isn’t depending on you. You are depending on Him! (Jer 1)

Jesus embarks on a preaching tour of Galilee. The exorcisms and miracle healings he performs along the way confirm that he is exactly who he claims to be – God’s Holy One, Son of God, and Christ. Lord Jesus, we acknowledge your authority over us and every aspect of our lives. Thank you for your gracious and healing work among us. (Lk 4)

Every spiritual gift that the Church possesses must be exercised with love, or else it will bring harm –not blessing– to the greater body. Paul offers a description of love in its perfected form. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of perfect love. Soon his love will be perfected in us, when he comes again to make us and all things new. (1Cor 13)