Sunday, January 15, 2017

Reflection for the 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Part 1

Monday – The Discerning Word

“The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.”

Indeed, the Word of God lives, for Jesus is the Eternal Word, and He has conquered death. Although He has lived for all eternity in His divine nature, He took on a human nature that could and did die in order to save us from our sins and establish a new covenant between God and humanity. But death couldn't hold Him, and He rose again.

The Word of God is effective. Jesus is able to do all things, for He is God. The Greek word here is energēs, and it carries overtones of activity and energy. The Word of God is active for our salvation. He is powerful and filled with a divine energy that gets things done. We, however, must cooperate with this divine effectiveness and allow it to fill us and carry out its purpose in us.

The Word of God, our Lord, knows us better than we know ourselves. He discerns our every thought, and if we let Him, He will guide our reflections that we may discover truth, beauty, and goodness.

“The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” May it always be so in our lives. Amen.

(Information about Greek vocabulary comes from HELPS Word Studies on

Tuesday – Eagerness, Faith, and Patience

In today's first reading, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews exhorts us to eagerness, faith, and patience.

We are to be eager to serve others. The Greek word for eagerness is spoudē, and it carries the weight of both speed and diligence. We are to be quick to serve, and we are to serve well without cutting corners. We must do our very best and give our fullest effort to all the tasks we perform for those around us.

Further, we are called to live our lives in faith. The Greek noun pistis derives from the verb peithō, which means to persuade. When we have faith, then, we are persuaded about something. We accept the truth of it and hold it with confidence. When we have faith in God, we have confidence in Him and in everything He has revealed. We accept the truth of the divine reality, and we trust God completely to be exactly Who He is and to carry out His plan in our lives.

Finally, we must live with patience, in Greek makrothumia. We are content to wait for God and to control ourselves while we wait. God's timing is perfect, but it isn't our timing, so we hold ourselves in a position of readiness, accepting whatever suffering and joy God allows for our good.

Eagerness, faith, and patience. May our lives be filled with these that we may always live for God.

(Information about Greek vocabulary comes from HELPS Word Studies on

Wednesday – Healing on the Sabbath

The Pharisees watched carefully to see what Jesus would do. They had been waiting to accuse Him of something for quite some time, and now they might have their change. The man with the withered hand was lurking in the background, obviously waiting to approach Jesus and ask for healing. But it was the sabbath, and no work was allowed on the sabbath. Healing was quite clearly work, so if Jesus healed the man, they had Him.

Jesus knew exactly what was going on. He called the man with the withered hand to stand before Him, and then He asked the Pharisees a pointed question: “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?”

The Pharisees couldn't answer, for they realized that Jesus had turned the tables on them. If they answered that it was lawful to do good on the sabbath, then they ought to have no objection to healing the man. If they said that it was lawful to save life, they would be in the same predicament. If they denied either proposition, they would reveal themselves to be in support of evil and of the destruction of life. They were trapped.

Jesus turned to the man and invited him to stretch out his hand, which was immediately restored. The Pharisees left in a huff and decided to take a more direct approach to getting rid of Jesus. Tricking Him clearly wouldn't work, so they would resort to more drastic measures. They would do what they could to put Jesus to death.

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