1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Luke 4: 16-30
As Jesus stood up, he must have known that he had a reputation to live up to and he also knew the truth of his mission from the Father.
Jesus probably understood that the expectations of the community were likely to be high. What would he teach? What would he say?
Community expectations, on the one hand, God’s truth on the other hand.
His listeners must have been amazed. How could this be the son of Mary and Joseph – the boy next door that they watched grow up? LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD, the headlines could have read!!
However, Jesus asked his listeners to consider that they perhaps are not as "chosen" as they want to believe……that God could also favor a Syrian leper and a widow from Sidon. God’s love is inclusive.
The community was not ready to hear "the message." Instead, they focused on the "messenger" and reacted by trying to throw Jesus over the cliff.
This disbelief and rejection may still be true today. How often do we tend to ignore or discount the wisdom of those closest to us? After all, did we listen to our parents when we were teens? Now, as adults, are we any different?
We are challenged to recognize the teachers, the healers and prophets among us today.
Deacon Brian Clements ([email protected]) is on the staff at Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.