1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13 But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Luke 4:16-30

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the sabbath day. And he stood up to read;17 and there was given to him the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
20 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.21 And he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; and they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”
23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Caperna-um, do here also in your own country.'” 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country.
25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.29 And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong.30 But passing through the midst of them he went away.  


St PAULS EPISTLE: It appears that the Christian community members who lost loved ones were traumatic and highly anguished and in despair. Paul seeks to comfort and give hope to the bereaved ones and teaches that those who have died in Christ will be the first to be raised from the dead. Those who are alive at the second coming of Christ will be taken up and be united with those whose death predate Jesus’ second coming. 

THE GOSPEL READING: Jesus followed the Hebrew tradition and stepped up unto the ‘bimah’ (sanctuary) to read the Torah aloud in the synogogue. When the people realized that the prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus, he received much applause from the people until they discovered that he was a local commoner just like them, implying that He is a sinner who is also in need of healing! The congregations ire were raised against Jesus when he cited stories of the widow (1 Kgs 17:9-24) who shared her last meal with Elijah during a time of drought, and a respected non jewish military commander Namaan who was healed from leprosy at the command of the Israelite King who allowed him to be cleansed in the waters of the Jordan! 2 Kgs 5:1-14

Jesus’ inference that the Messiah shall give preference to heal, bless and save charitable believingĀ  non Jews, infuriated the synogogue goers to the extent that they wanted to kill Jesus! Death, pain, unemployment, loneliness,failures and rejection are human afflictions that befall all of us at some point or another. Instead of being despondent, let us not reject Jesus, but remain hopeful and comfort one another with love and charity by declaring the glory of God and reaching out to others despite our poverty and afflictions.

LET US PRAY: Psalms 96:1,3-5,11-13

1 O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols; but the LORD made the heavens.
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 12 let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy.13 before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

Author. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

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