January 26, 2017 – Thursday in the 3rd Week of the Church Year

Saints for the day: Timothy and Titus (died: c. 95)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

2 Timothy 1:1-8 or: Titus 1:1-5    –    Psalm 96    –    Luke 10:1-9 0r Mark 4:21-25

“Tell among the nations his glory, and his wonders among all the peoples, for the Lord is great and highly to be praised. (Psalm 96:3-4)

Today the Church gives us several choices of readings so we have no excuse to say, “what are we supposed to get out of today’s liturgy?”

To begin with we should always look at the Gospel first. That’s the main focus of our Scriptural readings. In Luke we hear of the appointment of the 72 disciples and the guidelines that they are to follow as they proclaim the message “out into the world.” It’s a good “outline” for all of to take into consideration: go out with courage always extending “the peace of Christ” but don’t waste your time (or fret) if that peace is not received. When Jesus says, “if they don’t receive you, shake even the dust of that place off your feet and move on!” We can take this to mean not letting people’s negativity drag you down. In Mark’s Gospel we are told to “let your light shine before all the people you encounter in your journey.” Don’t hide the “Light of Christ” under a basket but hold it high so that it might bring light for all to see. In the reading from Timothy, Paul says, “Stir into flame the gift that God has given you” and we have all had experiences of trying to keep a small campfire from going out. It takes a certain kind of gentleness lest you inadvertently blow the fire out trying to get it going. This should remind all of us that we have to exercise gentleness in our eagerness to spread Christ’s Light to those with whom we meet. If people can see even a small spark of Christ’s love in our lives that will draw them in more than our bashing them over the head with scripture verses.

So, what’s our bottom line here today? Take some time to gently stir into flame the gifts that we have received. Go out into all the world holding high that “light of Christ” that draws people out of darkness. If we have let that light of Christ be firmly set in our lives the rest is just the work of the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to worry about what we are to say. In the words of St. Paul, “Now it is no longer I that lives but Christ living in me.” Amen!

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