4th SEPTEMBER 2023




1 Thes 4: 13-18;                     Ps 96: 1, 3-5, 11-13;               Lk 4: 16-30


Today Jesus is in his hometown of Nazareth. It was the Sabbath day and as was his custom he went to the synagogue. He was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He read this passage: “The Spirit of God is upon me because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor… Then he rolled up the scroll and stated: “Today this passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Take a moment and put yourselves in the shoes of the people listening to Jesus. Many of these people had watched him grow up, watched him play and most likely corrected him at times. They knew Jesus very well. He was so familiar to them, it would have been easy for them to dismiss his words and his proclamation. However, they spoke highly of him and they were amazed at his ability to preach. Yet, they also said: “Is this man the son of Joseph, the carpenter? Where did he get all this knowledge and wisdom?” Jesus was well aware that typically a prophet was not accepted in his home town. Yet he also desired to share his good news with the people he had known and loved from childhood. Sadly, the people did not open their minds and hearts to Jesus. Jesus sadly yet calmly, walked through the crowd and went away.

Our initial reaction to this Gospel might be shock or dismay due to the reaction of his neighbours and friends. It may be easy to judge or criticize Jesus when he is not acting as we expect him to act. Can you identify with Jesus? Have there been times in your life when you were rejected because you were not the person a family member or friend expected you to be? Even good people get jealous, envious and angry at times. Today, let us be mindful of our judgment of the people we encounter. Indeed, judgment often is automatic and almost unconscious. However, when we become aware we are judging another, we then can choose to step back from judgment and let God be the Judge.

Response: The Lord comes to judge the earth.

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