The Word This Week ~ 28 December 2014
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First Reading: Genesis 15:1-6, 21:1-3
“Do not be afraid” is a recurring theme in Scripture. So many encounters are prefaced with the greeting or variations of same. Still we can find it next to impossible not to be afraid. Things seem beyond us, hopeless at times, and we battle for composure. Yet God’s promise to Abram and Sarah is fulfilled. Their fears, tough real, had no place in God’s plan for them ... or us!
Second Reading: Hebrews 18:11-12, 17-19
Faith is at the heart of this text. Where there is real and lived faith, response to God’s call is not far behind. The repeated use of examples of faith serve to deepen our awareness of the invitation offered us to believe. The examples coming from one family’s story bring us to a place of recognising faith within the home, within the family unit and the need to hand on the faith.
Gospel Reading: Luke 2:22-40
The young couple bring their child to present him in the temple. Like Abraham, they’re not sure what is expected but they follow the given instructions. It’s noteworthy that their offering represents that of a poor couple since the expectation was a lamb and turtledove or pigeon but, if
means did not allow, the parents could bring two birds instead. There’s an alignment with the poor at work here.
There’s also an openness to share their joy even with strangers as evidenced on the night of his birth. Their son, though precious to them both, is there for all.