September 1, 2014

The Gospel Today

Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time


Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll,
he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“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, “Is this not 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 he passed through the midst of them and went away.

Reflection (Sem. Randy Buquis):

The Gospel today invites us to listen and to let God act on us. In the first part of the Gospel people were initially amazed to the word of Jesus but rejected his claim to speak and act in God’s name. With this kind of response from the people in the synagogue it’s good to ask myself of what hinders me to consistently listen to the voice of God.

Maybe sometimes I appreciate it but more often I ignore the voice of God that will hamper my growth. I remember one of the fruits of my spiritual direction, wherein I was able to realize that many times in the middle of difficulties and trials I’m just following my own will and not relying on God’s will. I prioritize and listen to myself rather than putting God’s first, listening and following Him.

The Gospel today is inviting me to listen to the voice of God and not to my fears, preferences and to my own comforts. On the other hand some of us have our own fears from different creatures, rejections, being abandoned or committing mistakes, in different situations or unexpected scenarios leading us not to hear what God is telling to us.

Listening internally is an avenue to hear the will of God. For those looking on God for hope, Jesus is the answer. To respond to God, one must be open to him. For those in need of God, Jesus brings a message of good news for us.

In the seminary context, listening to the fraternal corrections given by the community is one way of knowing myself and can be an instrument of listening to the voice of God.



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