4C19. Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19. God in his divinity is without the limitations that we live with and take for granted. He is without beginning or end. So God says to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” God knew the horrific opposition Jeremiah would face. God says, “Be not crushed on their account.” He makes him like “a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of brass” against all the rejection he will get from Judah.
Luke 4:21-30. In saying, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing,” Jesus is saying that the Spirit of the Lord is upon him to bring glad tidings to the poor, in other words, that he is the prophet being sent by God the Father. The people in the synagogue where he gave his short talk, “asked, ‘Isn’t this the son of Joseph?’” They were really saying we saw him grow up in our midst just as an ordinary, local person. How is it that all of a sudden, he claims to be a prophet? Secondly, the people complained that he has worked many wondrous miracles in Capernaum but not here in Nazareth. Jesus’ purpose in working miracles was to build faith in those who were open to believe. It made no sense to work miracles for those who had a closed mind and a hard heart as did those he had grown up with. In answer to them Jesus replies that God the Father worked miracles for the widow in Zarephath and Naaman the Syrian were not Jews. They were greatly angered by that reply because as God’s People they thought that they had an irrefutable claim and sole ownership of God’s good works. In pointing out that God had chosen other people to be generous to instead of the Jews, it challenged the assumption that, in being chosen by God, all other peoples were rejected by God with no right to God’s good works. Not only did they not know who Jesus was; they did not they were in God’s eyes.
1 Corinthians 12:31- 13:13. Earlier in chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians, Paul relates that the Holy Spirit gives varied spiritual gifts to the whole body of the church or Assembly of God’s People coordinating and providing for the various interrelated functions of the body so that the body can operate as a single efficient unit. The gifts vary in such a way that, working together harmoniously, the body can operate or function as an efficient whole or entity. Above the ordinary gifts that the Spirit gives, Paul makes it clear that there is a spiritual gift that is greater than all the rest that all of us should strive for. Paul goes on to say that he has grown in knowledge since his childhood. He is the point now, he writes, that he has grown to know only partially and indistinctly; but what he does know is that greatest of all gifts is love. Genesis 1:27 says: “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.” Since 1 John 4:16b says: “God is love”, and we are made in his image and likeness, then we must be love which is to say that we must, not only be loving, but that our very person must be love as God is love. In Matthew 6:9, Jesus teaches us to pray by calling God our Father. As sons and daughters to our Father God who is love we must be love because we are the offspring of the One who is love. Love is not just something we do but who we are. This is his glad tidings to the poor. God will make rich in God’s love.