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All Issues > Volume 26, Issue 1

<< Sunday, January 31, 2010 >> 4th Sunday Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
1 Corinthians 12:31—13:13

View Readings
Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17
Luke 4:21-30

Similar Reflections


"When I became a man I put childish ways aside." —1 Corinthians 13:11

Saul resembled the indignant Jews from Nazareth in today's Gospel. He surely wanted to throw Jesus over a cliff (see Lk 4:29). Such was Saul's zeal when he opposed Jesus and His followers. He harassed the Church, entered many Christian homes, "dragged men and women out, and threw them into jail" (Acts 8:3). Saul once testified: "I sent many of God's holy people to prison. When they were to be put to death I cast my vote against them...Indeed, so wild was my fury against them that I pursued them even to foreign cities" (Acts 26:10-11). Saul was one of those who would put a Christian to death and "claim to be serving God!" (Jn 16:2)

Saul couldn't accept Jesus in his native place (see Lk 4:24). So Jesus gave him a new nature and a new native place. Jesus appeared to Saul (Acts 9:3ff), gave him a new nature in baptism (Acts 9:18), and a new native place by granting him citizenship in heaven (Phil 3:20). Saul had a heart of stone, and was a man without love. Set free by the love of Jesus, "Saul (also known as Paul)" (Acts 13:9) became a "pillar of iron, a wall of brass" who spread the word of God to many nations (Jer 1:18).

How could such a zealous, furious man change into a person so loving and sensitive that he could write the beautiful, timeless words of love recorded in 1 Corinthians 13? Paul's fury melted as the Holy Spirit poured out the love of God into his heart (Rm 5:5).

Who is the hard, angry Saul in your life? Can you love this Saul into the arms of Jesus? "Love never fails" (1 Cor 13:8).

Prayer: Jesus, love many into Your kingdom through my life. May I see those with hardened hearts through Your eyes.
Promise: "Before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you." —Jer 1:5
Praise: "Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph 1:3).
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2009 through January 31, 2010.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2009.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 26, Issue 1
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