Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 72

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.


Today's second reading is that ever-popular First Corinthians Thirteen chapter about "love." Expect to hear it when you attend another wedding, as you heard it during the last wedding. Expect also that love will be presented as something sweet, nice and recommended to the newlyweds as they set sail on the tempestuous seas of marriage. 
Love, like the words Christian and priest, is often interpreted by someone who wants something. "If you love me..." goes hand in gauntlet glove with, "A real Christian would..." and, "A real priest would... do this for me." 
Jesus, who is Love Incarnate, replied, "Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place." For that they attempted to throw him over a nearby cliff. The Galilean version of under the bus
Saint Luke presents Jesus as the prophet. Our first reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, reminds us that the prophet's mission is to "stand up and tell them all that I command you." For that he should expect neither appreciation nor gratitude, much less compliance. The response will be anger and abuse. 
The word of truth always comes as a challenge. That's why study is so hard. I open the book with some idea of what I will find and discover thoughts I have not thought, and difficulties I have not encountered. I thought I knew something and I realize I have been quite ignorant. 
If I am humble I will let myself learn that which I did not know. But often, in conversation with a teacher, I will interrupt the lesson with a fact, story or witticism I was sure of. Rarely do I say, "Tell me more!"
Many observers today have shown how our beloved Internet is not telling us things we did not know. We set the defaults for those news sources that agree with our standing political and religious beliefs. We attend the churches to hear a gospel we already know. We mingle with people of our own kind
The creators of the Internet promised us a wider, more open world where we might discover that we're all human and fundamentally alike. They forgot that we don't want to meet strangers or learn what we did not know. And we especially don't want to know that there are no technological fixes for our many problems. 
There is only 
the word of God, that living and effective word,sharper than any two-edged sword,penetrating even between soul and spirit,joints and marrow,and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.No creature is concealed from him,but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of himto whom we must render an account.
In today's gospel Jesus stands before his own people, family, friends, neighbors and fellow citizens of Nazareth, as the one to whom they must render an account. They were not pleased to see him. 
Christians and Catholics should expect a similar response as we live in the truth, as we practice those lovely words of Saint Paul, 
Love is patient, love is kind.It is not jealous, it is not pompous,It is not inflated, it is not rude,it does not seek its own interests,it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,it does not rejoice over wrongdoingbut rejoices with the truth.It bears all things, believes all things,hopes all things, endures all things.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.