Sunday, February 3, 2013

Looking ahead

By Father Perry D. Leiker

"Amen I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place." Truth can be brutal. Telling it "like it is" can leave people feeling insecure, even a bit defensive. Jesus did speak such direct truth he did tell it "like it was." The crowd's vacillations were proof of their lack of conviction. But Jesus did not only tell it, he also showed the consequences of such lack of faith and understanding. He showed the consequences both to them and to himself.

In striking contrast we hear the inevitable and wonderful consequences of faith, trust and love. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you," says the Lord. "You are my rock and my fortress," says the psalmist. And Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians: love "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

In the liturgy there is an interesting gesture that takes place at the beginning, at the end, and in the middle of the Eucharistic celebration. The celebrant kisses the altar twice, and he kisses the Gospel book after he proclaims the Gospel. He kisses them.

In our faith we, of course, need to hear and understand God's word. We ought to even study the word so that we can apply it more significantly in our lives of faith. But best of all is the thought and hope that we could love the word. Love it! Take the word into our hearts and allow it to reshape and reform who we are and what we do. If we indeed had such love, perhaps we would find that prophets are indeed accepted not only in their own native place but in every place.

Father Perry D. Leiker is St. Bernard parish administrator. Reach him (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112.

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