“This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.”
Today’s Gospel comes to us in two parts. The first part gives us the opening of Luke’s Gospel with his rationale for actually writing it – “so that you (Theophilus) may learn how well founded the teaching is that you have received”. Then we move on in the story of Jesus’ coming back to Nazareth from Galilee where he had been well received.
The Word of God is himself reading the Word of God. As Jesus is reading this passage He is actually telling the people that He is the fulfillment of the Law which they held so dear. The Spirit of the Lord has been given to Him to enable Him to bring the good news to the poor.
I wonder what was going through the minds of the people listening to Jesus. Were they skeptical? unbelieving? amazed? Remember Nazareth had been His home. Many of the listeners would know Him as son of Joseph and Mary; they would have seen Him in the workshop with Joseph and in the company of Mary. How could this man and boy be anointed to bring the good news?
It’s a safe bet to say few of them would have believed wholeheartedly but….
Perhaps we could learn from this situation not to judge someone because we know them as a neighbour or colleague. We really never know what is in another’s heart or how another thinks. I’m sure you have been surprised at what you learn about someone you thought you knew, when they are dead.
So let us pray, Lord give us a generous heart which thinks the best of everyone who touches our lives. Help us to be slow to judge, eager to give praise and understanding of weakness. Let us consider that everyone is innocent until they are found guilty. Amen
Sr. Patricia O’Reilly OP