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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 26.01.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 26.01.24

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2ND TIMOTHY 1: 1 – 8

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience, as did my fathers, when I remember you constantly in my prayers. As I remember your tears, I long night and day to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but take your share of suffering for the Gospel in the power of God.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 96: 1 – 2a, 2b – 3, 7 – 8a, 10 (R) 3

R/. Tell among all the peoples the wonders of the Lord

O sing a new song to the Lord,
sing to the Lord, all the earth,
O sing to the Lord, bless his name. R/.

Proclaim his salvation day by bay,
Tell among the nations his glory,
and his wonders among all the people. R/.

Give the Lord, you families of peoples,
give the Lord glory and power,
give the Lord the glory of his name. R/.

Say to the nations, “The Lord is king.”
The world he made firm in its place;
he will judge the peoples in fairness R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
 Luke 4: 18

ALLELUIA
The Lord sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captive.
ALLELUIA

GOSPEL   
“The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few.”
LUKE 10: 1 – 9

At that time: The Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. And he said to them, “The harvest is pleantiful, but the labourers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest.  Go your way, behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you,”

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Transformation in God’s Grace
January 26, 2024

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. (Mark 4:26–27)

It’s beautiful to reflect upon how the Word of God changes people’s lives. This short passage above analogizes the sharing of the Word of God with the planting of seed. The sower goes forth and scatters seed into the ground and then observes how that seed grows into a fruitful plant. The mysterious line states “he knows not how.”

So it is with the Word of God. When that Word is received by another, we are blessed to be able to stand back and watch as that Word takes root and transforms their lives. Of course, at times we may sow the Word and it doesn’t take root. This is on account of either the hardness of another’s heart or on account of the way in which we sow. But when the seed of God’s Word does take root, we should be in awe of how God works in that soul.

Think about this reality in your own life. How did you first receive the good seed of God’s word? Perhaps it was through a sermon, a retreat, the reading of Scripture, a book or the witness of another. Think about how you first received God’s Word into your life and what effect it had upon you.

Once God’s Word has taken root in a soul, it is a holy practice to “rise night and day” so as to observe this seed as it grows. Specifically, we must allow ourselves to be amazed at the mysterious way that a life is changed, be it your own life or the life of another. It’s inspiring to observe the soul of a person as it begins to root out sin, to seek virtue, to establish a life of prayer and to grow in the love of God.

If this is something to which you find it hard to relate, then perhaps it’s time to either allow that seed of God’s Word to fall gently and deeply into the fertile ground of your own soul or to prayerfully look for ways in which God wants to use you to sow that seed into the heart of another. Doing the latter takes much openness to the working of the Holy Spirit. It requires that we allow God to inspire us so as to know how we can cooperate with His hand in evangelization.

Reflect, today, upon the “mystery” of a soul who goes through this process of change and spiritual growth. If you find it difficult to find such an example to ponder, then turn to the lives of the saints. The saints are among the greatest witnesses of those who allowed God’s Word to sink deeply into their lives so that they became new creations, transformed by God’s grace. Ponder this transforming witness and allow yourself to be drawn into gratitude and amazement as you do.

PRAYER:
My transforming Lord, I thank You for the way that You have sown the seed of Your holy Word into my own life. I thank You for the way in which You have changed me, freed me from sin and set me on the path to holiness. Use me, dear Lord, to sow that seed in the lives of others and fill me with wonder and awe as I witness Your merciful hand at work. Jesus, I trust in You.

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