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4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!

 

Readings at Mass

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-194. 8-)

Liturgical Colour: Green.

 

First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19

'I have appointed you prophet to the nations'

 

In the days of Josiah, the word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying:

‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;

before you came to birth I consecrated you;

I have appointed you as prophet to the nations.

‘So now brace yourself for action.

Stand up and tell them all I command you.

Do not be dismayed at their presence,

or in their presence I will make you dismayed.

‘I, for my part, today will make you into a fortified city,

a pillar of iron, and a wall of bronze to confront all this land:

the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests and the country people.

They will fight against you but shall not overcome you,

for I am with you to deliver you –

it is the Lord who speaks.’

 

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 70(71):1-6,15,17

My lips will tell of your help.

 

In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.

In your justice rescue me, free me: pay heed to me and save me.

 

Be a rock where I can take refuge, a mighty stronghold to save me;

  for you are my rock, my stronghold.  Free me from the hand of the wicked.

 

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope, my trust, O Lord, since my youth.

On you I have leaned from my birth,

from my mother’s womb you have been my help.

 

My lips will tell of your justice and day by day of your help.

O God, you have taught me from my youth and I proclaim your wonders still.

 

EITHER:

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13

The supremacy of charity

 

Be ambitious for the higher gifts. And I am going to show you a way that is better than any of them.

 

        If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

 

        Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.

 

        Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me. Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.

 

        In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

 

OR:

Alternative Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

Three things last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love

 

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.

 

        Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me. Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.

 

        In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

 

Gospel Acclamation

John 14:6

Alleluia, alleluia!

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord;

No one can come to the Father except through me.

Alleluia!

 

Or:

Luke 4:18

Alleluia, alleluia!

The Lord has sent me to bring the good news to the poor,

to proclaim liberty to captives.

Alleluia!

 

Gospel: Luke 4:21-30

No prophet is ever accepted in his own country

 

Jesus began to speak in the synagogue: ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips. They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely?’

 

        But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me the saying, “Physician, heal yourself” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside.”’

 

        And he went on, ‘I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.

 

        ‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land, but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town. And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian, Naaman.’

 

        When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.

 

Acknowledgment: We thank the Publisher for allowing us to publish the Mass Readings to be used as reference for Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us around the World.

 

Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli

 

A. Pope Saint John Paul II

 

Homily, 1 February 1998

“Today this scripture has been fulfilled” (Luke 4:21). Jesus begins his preaching in the synagogue of Nazareth by announcing to his fellow citizens that the ancient prophecies concerning the awaited Messiah are fulfilled in him. The “today” proclaimed by Christ is now valid for all time. This morning it resounds for us too in this church, reminding us of the timeliness of salvation. God comes to meet the men and women of all times in their concrete situation and invites them to accept the truth of the Gospel and to walk on the ways of goodness. 

Jesus’ words in Nazareth caused a strong reaction in those who were listening to him: some were positively fascinated, while others rejected him and even tried to kill him (cf. Luke 4:28-30). Jesus is thus revealed from very beginning as a sign of contradiction for all who meet him, and so he remains today for humanity in our time on the threshold of the third millennium. 

 

“I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). The account of Jeremiah’s vocation, which we heard in the first reading, also stresses the universality of salvation. In fact, the prophet’s mission is not limited to the people of Israel, but expands to a universal dimension. The biblical text describes the sorrows and difficulties Jeremiah will encounter in the fulfilment of his task. The prophet, however, is at the same time guaranteed the necessary strength to bring to completion what has been entrusted to him. The Lord reassures him: “I am with you ... to deliver you” (Jeremiah 1:19). God is fully involved in the prophet’s mission and this promise is precisely the basis for the certitude of his belief that every obstacle will be surmounted. 

What this significant passage from the Book of Jeremiah proclaims will be fulfilled in Jesus’s mission, and later in that entrusted to the Church. In fulfilling the mandate received from Christ, the Christian community will have to face many difficulties down the centuries. However, it knows it can count on the strength of the Holy Spirit and on the mysterious but real presence of the risen Christ…

 

“If I ... have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). After presenting the variety of gifts and charisms, St Paul points to the supreme law of love as the “still more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31). This biblical text, which today’s liturgy presents in the second reading, reminds us that love must always be given pride of place: in the family, in society, in the parish, in the Church. Love is the soul of everything. It is a divine energy which gives strength to believers and makes them missionaries at the service of the Gospel. 

Dear faithful of this parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, be witnesses to the Gospel of love. Spread God’s love among everyone who lives, works, studies or spends his free time in this neighbourhood. Serve Christ’s truth with tenacity, courage and fidelity. May the Lord, who promised to remain with his disciples always, accompany you on your way. Turn your gaze to him. 

May Mary, Mother of Jesus, who is ceasely invoked by the Church, accompany you in the mission to families and make your parish community ever more fervent and zealous. 

 Amen! 

Pope Saint John Paul (Homily, 1 February 1998)

 

Angelus, 1 February 1998

1. Pro-Life Day, organized by the Italian Episcopal Conference, is being celebrated today in Italy. This year its theme is: “Communicating life”. I join my Brother Bishops in inviting believers and all people of goodwill to reflect on the respect due to human life from its beginning in conception to its natural end. Twenty years have now passed since Pro-Life Day was established. If in some respects sensitivity to the values of life has grown in recent years, it must nevertheless be noted that there are still some very grave threats, first of which is recourse to abortion. We must continue to pray and dedicate ourselves to ensuring that the culture of life will prevail over that of death. That is why “communicating life” is necessary. 

The first “communicators” of life are parents, through procreation and education; but every person is called to spread the love of life. I appeal in particular to all those who work in the mass media to convey positive messages and provide objective information on the crucial problems concerning human life and respect for its dignity. 

 

2. At the spiritual level, consecrated persons, men and women religious and consecrated lay people, are important “communicators of life” because of their specific vocation. I wish to emphasize this because tomorrow, the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, we will be celebrating the  Second Day of Consecrated Life, which I established last year to call the attention of the faithful to this vocation, which is essential for the life of the Church and for the good of society. 

Consecrated life stems from the action of the Holy Spirit and flows into the Church like a river, bathing humanity with faith, hope and love, continuing in the world the witness of the poor, chaste and obedient Christ. This witness is frequently confirmed by bloodshed. Precisely this morning I learned that Fr Vjeco Æuriæ, a Croatian missionary of the Order of Friars Minor, was killed yesterday evening in front of Holy Family Church in Kigali, Rwanda. Another victim is added to the long list of missionaries who have confirmed their love of Christ and of the African people with the sacrifice of their life. 

 

3. Dear brothers and sisters, let us ask Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church, to present to her Son this generous witness to the Gospel on African soil. May she who welcomed and gave birth in the flesh to the Word of life sustain the commitment of all who spend themselves in defending the human person, especially when he is defenceless, marginalized or rejected. 

We ask the Blessed Virgin, the model of a life consecrated to God and to one's brethren, to guide the way of individuals and institutes of consecrated life so that they can respond with total willingness to the Lord’s call, faithful to their original charism and attentive to the deepest human needs.

Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 1 February 1998)

 

Angelus, 28 January 2001

With great affection I greet the many young people of Rome and Lazio gathered in St Peter's Square for the "World Day of Peace" organized by Catholic Action Youth. Thank you, dear friends, for coming along with your parents, priests and teachers!

 

During this month of January, which saw the close of the Great Jubilee, you have been working on the theme of the dialogue between cultures, which I proposed in my Message of 1 January for the World Day of Peace. It is important that children and young people, especially if they are Christians, grow up with a mentality that is open to meeting every person, learning to recognize one another as a brother or sister. This is the way we become apostles of peace. I tell you and all the young people of Italy, beginning with those of ACR:  the Church is counting on you, so that humanity will no longer experience the aberrations of racial, ethnic and religious hatred. In this connection, how can we forget that "Memorial Day" was celebrated yesterday in Italy, a day instituted precisely in order not to forget the horrors of the Shoah and of every other human aberration caused by the rejection of dialogue between different cultures and religions. May the doves that your representatives will release from this window be a sign of solidarity and peace for the new year just begun.

Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 28 January 2001)

 

Angelus, 1 February 2004

1. "There is no future without children". This is the theme of the Pro-Life Day being celebrated throughout Italy today. In their Message, the Italian Bishops highlight the many  causes of the current demographic crisis. They recall that all too often the cultural and social context does not promote the family or the role of parents.

Furthermore, many married couples would like more children but are forced, as it were, to abandon this because of  economic concerns. Although public institutions provide considerable assistance, it is often insufficient. People are feeling the need for  a more concrete family policy.

 

2. The nuclear family that develops from marriage is the basic cell of society. In it, as in a reassuring nest, life should always be nurtured, defended and protected, and today's Pro-Life Day reminds everyone of this fundamental duty.

Dear brothers and sisters, we must not resign ourselves to any attacks on human life, least of all abortion! I renew my appreciation for the courageous support that the Italian Pro-Life Movement offers to this cause, and I urge every Ecclesial Community to support its initiatives and the services it offers. Efforts must be redoubled so that the right to life of unborn children is not affirmed against their mothers but with their mothers.

 

3. Let us now turn to Mary Most Holy and call on her especially for families so that, trusting in divine help, they may carry out with joy and dedication their wonderful mission to give humanity a future rich in hope.

Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 1 February 2004)

 

B. Pope Benedict XVI

 

Angelus, 28 January 2007

The relationship between faith and reason is a serious challenge to the currently dominant culture in the Western world, and for this very reason our beloved John Paul II decided to dedicate an Encyclical to it, entitled, precisely, Fides et Ratio - Faith and Reason. Recently, I too returned to this topic in my Discourse to the University of Regensburg

 

When Christian faith is authentic, it does not diminish freedom and human reason; so, why should faith and reason fear one another if the best way for them to express themselves is by meeting and entering into dialogue? Faith presupposes reason and perfects it, and reason, enlightened by faith, finds the strength to rise to knowledge of God and spiritual realities. Human reason loses nothing by opening itself to the content of faith, which, indeed, requires its free and conscious adherence.

 

St Thomas Aquinas, with farsighted wisdom, succeeded in establishing a fruitful confrontation with the Arab and Hebrew thought of his time, to the point that he was considered an ever up-to-date teacher of dialogue with other cultures and religions. He knew how to present that wonderful Christian synthesis of reason and faith which today too, for the Western civilization, is a precious patrimony to draw from for an effective dialogue with the great cultural and religious traditions of the East and South of the world.

 

Let us pray that Christians, especially those who work in an academic and cultural context, are able to express the reasonableness of their faith and witness to it in a dialogue inspired by love. Let us ask the Lord for this gift through the intercession of St Thomas Aquinas and above all, through Mary, Seat of Wisdom.

Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 28 January 2007)

 

Angelus, 31 January 2010

In this Sunday's Liturgy we read one of the most beautiful passages of the New Testament and of the whole Bible: the Apostle Paul's "hymn to love" (1 Corinthians 12: 31-13: 13). In his First Letter to the Corinthians, after explaining through the image of the body that the different gifts of the Holy Spirit contribute to the good of the one Church, Paul shows the "way" of perfection. It does not, he says, consist in possessing exceptional qualities: in speaking new languages, understanding all the mysteries, having a prodigious faith or doing heroic deeds. Rather, it consists in love agape  that is, in authentic love which God revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Love is the "greatest gift" which gives value to all the others and yet it "is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant"; on the contrary it "rejoices in the right" and in the good of others. Whoever truly loves "does not insist on [his or her] own way", "is "not irritable or resentful" but "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (cf. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7). In the end, when we find ourselves face to face with God, all the other gifts will no longer matter; the only one that will last forever is love, because God is love and we will be like him, in perfect communion with him.

 

For now, while we are in this world, love is the sign of Christians. It sums up their entire life: what they believe and what they do. This is why at the beginning of my Pontificate I chose to dedicate my first Encyclical to this very subject of love: Deus Caritas Est. As you will remember, this Encyclical is made up of two parts that correspond to the two aspects of charity: its meaning and hence its practice. Love is the essence of God himself, it is the meaning of creation and of history, it is the light that brings goodness and beauty into every person's existence. At the same time love is, so to speak, the "style" of God and of believers, it is the behaviour of those who, in response to God's love, make their life a gift of themselves to God and to their neighbour. In Jesus Christ these two aspects form a perfect unity: he is Love incarnate. This Love has been fully revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Fixing our gaze on him, we can confess with the Apostle John: "We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us" (cf. 1 John 4: 16; Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, n. 1).

 

Dear friends, if we think of the Saints, we recognize the variety of their spiritual gifts and also their human characteristics, but the life of each one of them is a hymn to charity, a living canticle to God's love! Today, 31 January, we are commemorating in particular St John Bosco, the Founder of the Salesian Family and Patron of young people. In this Year for Priests, I would like to invoke his intercession so that priests may always be educators and fathers to the young; and that, experiencing this pastoral love, many young people may accept the call to give their lives for Christ and for the Gospel. May Mary Help of Christians, a model of love, obtain these graces for us.

Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 31 January 2010)

 

Angelus, 3 February 2013

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-194-195. 8-)

 

C. Pope Francis I

 

Angelus, 31 January 2016

Today’s Gospel account once again, like last Sunday, brings us to the synagogue of Nazareth, the village in Galilee where Jesus was brought up in a family and was known by everyone. He, who left not long before to begin his public life, now returns and for the first time presents himself to the community, gathered in the synagogue on the Sabbath. He reads the passage of the Prophet Isaiah, who speaks of the future Messiah, and he declares at the end: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). Jesus’ compatriots, who were at first astonished and admired him, now begin to look sideways, to murmur among themselves and ask: why does he, who claims to be the Lord’s Consecrated, not repeat here in his homeland the wonders they say he worked in Capernaum and in nearby villages? Thus Jesus affirms: “no prophet is acceptable in his own country”, and he refers to the great prophets of the past, Elijah and Elisha, who had worked miracles in favour of the pagans in order to denounce the incredulity of their people. At this point those present are offended, rise up, indignant, and cast Jesus out and want to throw him down from the precipice. But he, with the strength of his peace, “passed through the midst of them and went away” (cf. v. 30). His time has not yet come.

 

This passage of Luke the Evangelist is not simply the account of an argument between compatriots, as sometimes happens even in our neighbourhoods, arising from envy and jealousy, but it highlights a temptation to which a religious man is always exposed — all of us are exposed — and from which it is important to keep his distance. What is this temptation? It is the temptation to consider religion as a human investment and, consequently, “negotiate” with God, seeking one’s own interest. Instead, true religion entails accepting the revelation of a God who is Father and who cares for each of his creatures, even the smallest and most insignificant in the eyes of man. Jesus’ prophetic ministry consists precisely in this: in declaring that no human condition can constitute a reason for exclusion — no human condition can constitute a reason for exclusion! — from the Father’s heart, and that the only privilege in the eyes of God is that of not having privileges, of not having godparents, of being abandoned in his hands.

 

“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). The ‘today’, proclaimed by Christ that day, applies to every age; it echoes for us too in this Square, reminding us of the relevance and necessity of the salvation Jesus brought to humanity. God comes to meet the men and women of all times and places, in their real life situations. He also comes to meet us. It is always he who takes the first step: he comes to visit us with his mercy, to lift us up from the dust of our sins; he comes to extend a hand to us in order to enable us to return from the abyss into which our pride made us fall, and he invites us to receive the comforting truth of the Gospel and to walk on the paths of good. He always comes to find us, to look for us.

 

Let us return to the synagogue. Surely that day, in the synagogue of Nazareth, Mary, his Mother, was also there. We can imagine her heart beating, a small foreboding of what she will suffer under the Cross, seeing Jesus, there in the synagogue, first admired, then challenged, then insulted, threatened with death. In her heart, filled with faith, she kept everything. May she help us to convert from a god of miracles to the miracle of God, who is Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis I (Angelus, 31 January 2016)

 

Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.

This Publication is aimed to encourage all of Goodwill around the World. It is not for business or profit purposes but it is our way to thank our Creator for His continuous blessings!

 

Compiled on 3 February 2019

 

 

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