FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY
Jan 3, 2013
The Book of Jeremiah, opens with an introduction to the prophet, who has carried on a ministry for forty years. Our lessons begins a section of twenty chapters in which we have the words of Jeremiah as dictated to or recorded by his young assistant, Baruch.
Today we have Jeremiah’s account of his commissioning by the Lord. Earlier prophets, Samuel, Nathan, were political figures, not preachers and poets. But Jeremiah is commissioned to use words. True, a political function is not left out, for he is also told to rule nations; but the political is secondary. The commissioning reflects a profound change brought about by the captivity and exile. Before the captivity, the center of the religion was the cult of sacrifice. But the Jews returned from Babylon with a religion of words. In captivity they had collected and edited and tied together their best religious writings and produced for the first time a Scripture, the Torah (we call it the Pentateuch), and they had formed new institutes for the study and worship of these sacred words, the synagogues.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Today we hear Paul’s exceedingly beautiful Hymn to Love. It needs no comment.