Today's Gospel: Luke 4:16-30
Exactly one month ago, we read Matthew’s version of this Gospel passage. Jesus returns to his hometown and begins to preach. At first the townspeople are amazed. But then they ask themselves, “Is this not the son of Joseph?”
Jesus, perhaps sensing their disbelief, dashes their expectations. He points out the irony that prophets are honored everywhere except in their hometowns. Then he goes on to list prophets who brought God’s words and who found willing believers not among their own people but to outsiders. By this time, the gathering has now become a mob and they seek to throw Jesus off a cliff. Yet, in their own disbelief and rage, they are unable to identify him, and he is able to slip away from the crowd unharmed.
It is one thing to not believe a speaker. It is another thing to want to throw him off a cliff. Yet today, the crowds go from utter amazement to murderous rage. How is it that we can so easily have our buttons pushed? After all, the passage Jesus reads is one meant to be GOOD NEWS! Good news for the poor, the oppressed, those enslaved, those who are blind. It is a time of jubilation in the year of our Lord.
But in our world, as then, and perhaps more so than then, we know too well what uproar can be caused by talking about aiding the poor, assisting foreigners, reforming our criminal system, or working on health care issues. Our local news, politics, and punditry record both amazement and vociferous outrage.
Lord, you have come.
Your Good News has been announced.
Give us ears to hear and hearts to respond
Not with disbelief, selfishness, or rage
But with faith in you,
Service to the least of these,
And love as you have loved us.
Don’t slip from our grasp
But forgive us our sins
And deliver us from evil.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Jay Cuasay
About the Author
Jay Cuasay is a freelance writer on religion, interfaith relations, and culture. A post-Vatican II Catholic father with a Jewish spouse, he is deeply influenced by Christian mysticism and Zen Buddhism. He was a regular columnist on Catholicism for examiner.com and a moderator and contributor to several groups on LinkedIn. His LTEs on film and Jewish Catholic relations have been published in America and Commonweal. Jay ministered to English and Spanish families at a Franciscan parish for 13 years. He can be reached at TribePlatypus.com.