February 3, 2019
Sunday, February 3
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 4: 21 – 30
Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying:
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”
He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb,
‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say,
‘Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'”
And he said, “Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.
The prophet Jeremiah, Jesus, and St. Paul all suffered rejection for the message they preached. All three preached the same message, the truth that God Himself gave to the world. The rejection they all suffered and the casting outside of the community they all endured, was buoyed up by their constant trust and faith in the living God who spoke to them about how much God loved the world but desired for people and the world to turn away from self and give one’s heart and soul to God first and foremost.
The message of the gospel today not only underscores that claim, but also assures that the message of Jesus is meant for the whole world, even for those who have not yet heard the name of Jesus.
As St. Paul today gives us the beautiful passage on what love is, we recognize that God is Love and we are simply asked to live a life knowing that Jesus is beside us always. As St. Paul, Jeremiah and Jesus knew, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.” Love never ends because God is Love.