Jan. 7, 2016 (1 John 4:19-5:4; Luke 4:14-22)

The reading from 1John continues the theme of the importance of “love.” God loved us first; therefore, we need to love God and our “brother,” neighbor. In the Gospel, we have an excerpt from Jesus’ first “homily” in Luke. (It’s also the only time we hear of Jesus reading anything in the gospels.) He talks about the “Year of favor to the Lord,” what the Jews called a Jubilee Year or Sabbatical Year when all debts were resolved and prisoners were set free and land returned to its original owner, etc. In Catholic Tradition, we call it a “Holy Year,” like the one we are in now dedicated to “mercy.” It seems to me that love and mercy go hand in hand. While there are many words in Hebrew for “mercy,” the most common is “hesed,” which also means steadfast love.

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