Friday, December 14, 2012

Devotion for today: We find the new in the old…

Today we will look at the first Sunday reading, which usually comes from the Old Testament.

Scripture for meditation: Luke 4:16-21
And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.  And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us: 2583: Finally, taking the desert road that leads to the place where the living and true God reveals himself to his people, Elijah, like Moses before him, hides "in a cleft of the rock" until the mysterious presence of God has passed by. But only on the mountain of the Transfiguration will Moses and Elijah behold the unveiled face of him whom they sought; "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God [shines] in the face of Christ," crucified and risen. 

Edward Sri tells us: The first reading is usually from the Old Testament (except during Easter Season, when it is from Acts of the Apostles, following an ancient practice). Although the Old Testament awaits the fullness of divine revelation in Jesus Christ, it is accepted by the Church with veneration as “authentic divine teaching.” In the Old Testament, “the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way.” In fact, one cannot adequately understand Jesus and the New Testament Scriptures without knowing the story of Israel in the Old. For the New Testament is like the last chapter of a great book or the climactic scene in a great movie. The more one grasps the many dramatic twists and turns in the story that went before – the Old Testament story of Israel – the more one will be able to understand the climax of the story of Jesus Christ and his Kingdom in the new.(The Mass, Ascension Press, 2010)

My thoughts: I am a lector at my church, and I feel it is a tremendous honor to proclaim the Word of God, yet sometimes the Old Testament readings can be difficult to understand. By listening carefully, however, the beautiful story of God’s chosen people unfolds throughout the year, and we come to understand their trials, tribulations, and longing for the Messiah. As Edward Sri tells us, we can see the New Testament in the Old if we look for the many actions, and prophecies that foretold the coming of the Messiah. A good study of the Old Testament can always be found through the writer and speaker Jeff Cavins and also Scott Hahn. They trace salvation history from Genesis to Christ, and what a fascinating history it is. So listen carefully to the Old Testament. It leads you into a fuller understanding of the awesomeness of the New.

Prayer: Lord, you know my heart,
my weaknesses,
and the times that I fail you and others.
I really need you now to speak to me through these words. Please inspire me in this time I have with you.

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