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Sunday, January 25, 2004

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3rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Nehemiah 8:2-4, 5-6, 8-10
1 Corinthians 12:12-30
Psalm 19
Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

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his wonderful word

"He read out of the book from daybreak till midday, in the presence of the men, the women, and those children old enough to understand; and all the people listened attentively to the book of the law." —Nehemiah 8:3

When the people of God read, hear, revere, obey, and share the word of God, the Holy Spirit renews the face of the earth (see Ps 104:30). Thus, Jesus began His public ministry reading God's word (Lk 4:16). He began His ministry after His resurrection by interpreting "every passage of Scripture which referred to Him" (Lk 24:27).

When the Church began, it devoted itself to learning and living God's word (see Acts 2:42). Throughout history, the Church has been tempted to lose its focus on God's word. But it repeatedly accepts the grace to "concentrate on prayer and the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4). We too must devote ourselves "to the reading of Scripture, to preaching and teaching" (1 Tm 4:13). As we sow the seed of God's word (see Mk 4:14), we will reap the harvest of salvation (see Rm 1:16).

We have hope in God's word, for the Lord approves those who tremble at His word (Is 66:2). Love and live God's word. Make it the "joy and the happiness" of your heart (Jer 15:16). God made the world through His word (see Ps 33:6); He will renew it through His word.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me Your word as proclaimed through Your Church.

Promise:  "If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy." —1 Cor 12:26

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, the incarnate and eternal Word!

Reference:  (To learn more about the Bible, we have a forty-tape series of teachings on the New Testament. To start, order the audio tapes covering Matthew, #700, 701, 702, and 703.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003