Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time, January 28, 2007

Jeremiah 1: 4-5, 17-19

1 Corinthians 12: 31 - 13: 13

Luke 4: 21-30

With a love that supports all

The commentary Jesus makes on the text from Isaiah provokes an immediate reaction in his listeners. Isnt that one the son of Joseph? There is a certain ambiguity in the question: its an admiring question and, at the same time, probably the expression of an expectation. The people of Nazareth are tempted to lay hands on Jesus, to capture for themselves his words of grace. This is what we grasp from Jesus reply, which reveals the ambiguity of their reaction.

He shows that he grasped both the admiration and the self-interest of his compatriots. He declares in a solemn tone: "Amen, amen, I tell you that no prophet is received in his own country." Because he has been sent elsewhere, because his ministry goes beyond the boundaries of the clan, the prophet is rejected by his own. The people of Nazareth, considering themselves as the rightful beneficiaries of the fulfillment of Isaiahs prophecy, expect Jesus to perform his miracles just for them, as he did in Capernaum.

Jesus anticipates and refuses their demands for healings, redefining for them how the quotation from Isaiah should be carried out. His interpretation contradicts their idea: Gods forgiveness is for the pagans as well. The Lords Year of Grace is announced first of all for those outside as the purification of Namaan, the Syrian and the meal prepared for Elijah by the widow of Sarepta attest. Both of them are placed at the head of the list of the poor and oppressed whose deliverance is announced by Isaiah. Israel is not rejected but has to accept the entrance of the pagans into the People of God. Having made this clear, Jesus is immediately rejected by the inhabitants of Nazareth

The prophet Jeremiah, consecrated for the nations by the Lord, is also advised that his word will not always be accepted favorably. The prophet cannot tolerate that the hearers of his word adapt it to their own liking and use. The Gospel message challenges our life, upsets our habits, demands our conversion Dont be among those who arrange the message so it will be better heard and welcomed. Let us learn to hand on the Word of God and to live it with a love that bears all, trusts all, hopes all, endures all

- Sr. Sophie Ramond, R.A.