Gospel Reflections

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 4:21-30

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Mary O'Brien

Published: January 31, 2016

Read Luke 4:21-30

Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed... Read More…


No Prophet Is Accepted in His Own Country

The gift of prophecy comes with its own burden – as read today, no prophet is accepted in his own country and that prophet may well be rejected with violence. Jesus begins to preach in the synagogue and all were astonished and pleased with what he was saying.  But then it became clear that Jesus was preaching an inclusive lesson.  He was including not only the Jews but also their neighbours. Then the violence erupted.  But this violence did not come to a violent end – Jesus slipped through the crowd. How did he do that?  Why did he do that? There must be a lesson in this: he is refusing to take issue, quietly departing because this was not the time to allow violence to take place. There is a time and a place for all things.

The first reading from the book of Jeremiah describes the life of a prophet – with the difficulties and problems which accompany this calling. But included also are the promises of God to the prophet. The prophet knows that God will be always at his side.  This is our certainty also. It is a promise to be remembered and recalled especially when life becomes difficult.

The promise is also reiterated in a different way in the second reading. The basis of all is the love of God and of neighbour. It is love which enables the promise to be fulfilled through the life and work of the prophets. All this sounds fine. Prophets have a hard time; they are supported by God, they are to preach to all people and not just to some; their lives are based on the love of God for them and theirs for God and for all people.  

So now, the problem is that we are the prophets being called to live lives of charity, bringing others to the love of God, preaching the unwelcome messages and suffering for that. Perhaps we can find strength for our prophetic lives in the message of the Alleluia verse: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, “says the Lord, “no one can come to the Father except through me.”

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