February 3, 2013

The Gospel Today

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lk. 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 at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”
He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb,
‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say,
‘Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’”
And he said, “Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.

Reflection (Sem. Herwyn Bulaun):

Filled with the Spirit of God, Jesus proclaimed the word of God in His own birth place, the Nazareth and people were amazed by the way He spoke the WORD. However, there is a problem about their amazement, because itremains in the level of intellect and curiosity and failed to penetrate into their hearts and souls. They chose to be blinded about the teachings of Christ. Worse, they questioned Jesus not on the basis of His teachings but by looking at His background as just a simple son of Joseph and Mary whose main job was carpentry. If only the Words of Christ is received with proper disposition there it can transform and stone of heart into “sensitive and compassionate heart.

Looking at our modern times, many of us will do the same thing as what the Jews did. We judge based on the person’s background, his parents, relatives and place of birth. We “box” a person based on where he comes from. It is very seldom that we give chances to person based on our relationship with him as a brother in Christ.

In the seminary formation, we are encouraged to give feedback or affirmation when necessary. The intention is to help the brother seminarian to see the things that he does not see. Further, we try to help the person improve not just in terms of skills but most importantly with his attitude and the way he relates with others.

I think the challenge of today’s gospel is tolook ourselves and ask,  am I still in the stage where what matters most is the message given to me out of love? Or “I reject the message because I know where the person speaking is coming from”.

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