Today’s Scripture passages offer us much to ponder, in particular, the second reading from 1 Corinthians, and the Gospel from Luke.
The passage from Luke, one of my favorites, follows immediately after Jesus’ temptations in the desert. Strengthened by the words, “you are my beloved Son,” at his baptism, and then led into the desert by the Spirit, Jesus had returned to his hometown of Nazareth and now begins his ministry by reading a passage from Isaiah in the Synagogue. Those who heard him were amazed at his words but they quickly turn on him. He is met with great resistance after initially being so welcomed. Those who, just moments ago were amazed at his words, have quickly turned on him even to the point of rushing to hurl him off a precipice.
We are reminded that from its earliest moments, Jesus’ ministry will be often marked by his being eagerly welcomed by people who are amazed at him and looking for healing, for a word. However, for whatever reason, they often quickly turn on him. This is starkly seen in the way he was welcomed on Palm Sunday and just a few days later, condemned to death by the jeers of the crowd. It might be good to read the earlier verses of Luke 4, before reading today’s gospel. Together they give us a “feel” for the ministry of the Beloved Son.
Why did the crowds flip so quickly from amazement to turning against Jesus? Why did the religious leaders seem to be in a permanent state of rejecting him? In my life is there some vacillating / flipping when it comes to my relationships with people – those I know personally as well as those I “know” through the media or reputation? Today’s reading from 1 Corinthians gives me the opportunity to ponder the meaning of Love in my life and also to examine where in my life and relationships I only “know partially” …”see indistinctly”…”put aside childish things.”
We are beginning to follow Jesus’ ministry through the Gospel of Luke and experience how he relates to people. Jesus is the Face of God (Pope Francis). And always the Face of Love.
-Sr. Marian Baumler, SSMN
Sisters of St. Mary of Namur . 241 Lafayette Avenue . Buffalo, New York 14213 . (716) 884-8221