Let us start our work of evangelising, like Jesus, the Good News, from our own country

4th Sunday of the year – Year C

Jer. 1:4-5,17-19; Psalm 70; 1 Cor. 12:31,13:13; Lq. 4:21-30

Read: Jesus told those in the synagogue: “This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.” And he won the approval of all; and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips. They said: “Is he not Joseph’s son?” But he replied: “No doubt you will quote me the saying: ‘Physician cure yourself’ and tell me: ‘We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside!’” And he went on: “I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country. There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day when heaven remained shut for three years and three months and a great famine raged throughout the land but Elijah was not sent to any one of these; he was sent to a widow of Zarephath, a Sidonian town”.

“And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these were cured, except the Syrian Naaman.” When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was enraged; they sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him to the brow of the hill that their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.

Reflect: Today the Word of God reminds us that we should be prophets in our time. We cannot offer others a greater gift than the Good News. However, we must be ready to carry out this mission even when we encounter opposition; obstruction and persecution. Someone once said: “Whoever wishes to dance should not be concerned about treading on toes”. It is a reality that those extoling the Word of God will be inviting not to receive bouquets of flowers, but to be criticized; to be looked upon unkindly; to be stopped from gaining a deserved promotion; in other words, to receive some form of persecution. That is what happened to Jesus of Nazareth.

The message being given us by the evangelist St. Luke through the final phrase: “He slipped through the crowd and walked away”, is a message of consolation and hope to us Christians whenever we are faced with some form of opposition, lack of agreement, and sometimes also hatred when evangelising the Word of God. The risk to a Christian when facing such experiences is that one forgets that what one is going through, is a repetition of what was experienced before him by the prophets and by Jesus. The evangelist assures us, Christians protected by God, that we too encounter persecutions and that we should nonetheless carry out our objectives.

Pray: My mouth announces your justice. In You, Lord do I seek refuge; I will thus never be confused. Because your justice will save me and protect me, listen to me and hasten to free me.

Act: Let us start our work of evangelising, like Jesus, the Good News, from our own country, town, from wherever we found ourselves after waking up. 

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