Skip to main content

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Through our Baptism we are called to be Prophets (because just like Jesus, as our baptism consecrates us as priests, prophets, and kings).  Being a prophet means speaking God’s truth, but when it comes to speaking that truth, especially to authority, we can find that our message is not always well received.  As our readings will show this week, being a prophet has its difficulties…


Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15-17
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
Luke 4:21-30

Our first reading comes from the book of the prophet Jeremiah with the passage that describes for us his calling to become a prophet.  Jeremiah began his mission under the much revered King Josiah, but was eventually witness to the fall of Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah to the Babylonians.  Jeremiah understands the dangers that can befall a prophet, so in his calling the Lord reminds him that his foes will not prevail over him… that he has the protection of the Lord.  Our Psalm reinforces this idea of the Lord as protector as we sing “I will sing of your salvation.”  The Palm reminds us that the Lord is our refuge, our fortress and our strength.

Jeremiah’s story is actually quite typical.  For all the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures, we here similar calling stories, and all of them at one point or another find themselves turning to the Lord as they are faced with all forms of disapproval.  Jesus also faced these difficulties throughout his ministry, starting right in his home town of Nazareth.

Our Gospel from Luke picks up where we left off last week… Jesus has just read from the scroll from the Prophet Isaiah, proclaiming that the prophecy has been fulfilled.  The initial reaction from the crowd is amazement, but that is quickly replaced with more questioning… as if to say, “Who does this guy think he is?”  Understand that these are the people he grew up with… they know him and his family very well.  They have also heard of the deeds he performed in Capernaum, but they want their own demonstration.  Jesus feels that they should know him and trust him, but it is precisely because they know him that they have doubts, and in fact become quite angry when he refuses to “show off” to them.  They’re about ready to toss him off a cliff, but in response Jesus just walks away.

Our second reading continues our study of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.  Again, picking up from where we left off last week (with his discourse on the Body of Christ and our different spiritual gifts), Paul now explains the best way to seek the best spiritual gifts… by putting on love.  While Paul’s soliloquy on love is a favorite for weddings, our use of this reading this week is meant to bridge the divisions within this young church… by recognizing that everyone has unique gifts, that we are all from the one Spirit, and the best way to treat each other is with love.

Final Thoughts:
It is said that a prophet is never accepted in his own land.  This is proven time and again in our scriptures, and is even true for Jesus in his home town of Nazareth.  These are the people he grew up with… and as is true of all close relationships, it is hard for the people who know us best to accept that we’ve changed and grown in ways that are unfamiliar or uncomfortable.  Familiarity breeds a certain bias that his hard for people to dismiss or overcome.  Our take-away is this:  Exercising our prophetic voice is difficult, even more so when we’re speaking with those who know us best.  But that is no reason to stop, because as the Lord said to Jeremiah, “I am with you to deliver you.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Post-Lent review... How did you do?

Lent is now behind us, yet in our excitement for Easter (and for Lent being over), how often to you take a moment to look back at your Lenten journey to do a post-game review?

As a volunteer leader and business school graduate, the concept of doing a formal "review" after an event or activity is a long held important practice... one that, unfortunately, tends to get overlooked even at the highest levels.  Still, it remains a staple of standard practice, and for good reason... It affords those involved, and the entire organization, a chance to review everything after the fact... what went well, what didn't, and lay the groundwork for next time.  The same is true for looking back at our Lenten journey.  So... how did you do?

I have to be honest, I sometimes fail to practice what I preach.  For as important as a post-lenten review might be, I hadn't thought of the idea until now.  I didn't even really think about it until this morning when I read the following artic…

5th Sunday of Easter

What happens when you have too much of a good thing?  When a business wins that lucrative new contract or expands into a new location?  Or taking that same idea a bit closer to home, what happens when two families merge through marriage, or when a family welcomes a new child?  We consider this kind of growth to be a good thing, but as with all things, these successes also come with their own baggage.  Our readings for this 5th Sunday of Easter have our Apostles facing similar challenges in the face of their growing successes.

The Word for the 5th Sunday of Easter Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
1 Peter 2:4-9
John 14:1-12

Our reading from Acts of the Apostles learning the hard way about the challenges that grow out of their continued success when their number of followers continues to grow.  Up to this point the Apostles have been doing their best to address the needs of the community, both spiritual and physical, but the community has grown so large now that they are becom…

3rd Sunday of Easter

Easter is about revelation!  On Easter Sunday we revealed that the tomb was found empty.  Last week Jesus revealed himself to the Apostles in the upper room, reminding us that “Blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe.”  This Third Sunday of Easter, Jesus is revealed through the breaking of the Bread.


The Word for the 3rd Sunday of Easter Acts 2:14, 22-33
Psalm 16:2, 5, 7-11
1 Peter 1:17-21
Luke 24:13-35

In our first reading from Acts of the Apostles we have Peter, discovering his voice and standing before all of Jerusalem giving witness about who Jesus was and what happened there.  It’s both a reminder to those present who also witnessed these events, and a much necessary explanation for those who (like us) were not there (especially Luke’s primarily Gentile audience).  The heart of Peter’s message reminds us that this messiah was killed by his own people, but through that act, as prophesied by their greatest king, David, has been raised by God, and sends his Ho…