22nd Week in Ordinary Time : Monday 4th September 2023

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jesus reaches out to those who seek His help

22nd Week in Ordinary Time : Monday 4th September 2023

1 Thess. 4:13:18; Ps. 95:1,3-5,11-13;
Lk. 4:16-30 (Ps. Wk. II)

Today’s Gospel text reflects one of the greatest ironies in Jesus’ public ministry. Returning to his home village’s synagogue, Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1 and announced to all present that the text they heard was fulfilled as they listened.

This meant that even as his kinfolk sat there listening, the Holy Spirit was upon Jesus, missioning Him to proclaim glad tidings to the poor such that those who are imprisoned be set free, those who are blinded receive sight, that the subjugated be liberated and that the year of God’s favour would be proclaimed.

The irony is that Jesus’ audience did not realise that His words were intended for them! They doubted Jesus because they knew Him to be ”Joseph, the carpenter’s son” and could not imagine Him to be anyone or anything else, let alone the Saviour of Israel. Their spiritual blindness and mental imprisonment born of their prejudices were proven when they took offence to Jesus’ remarks that no prophet is accepted in his own hometown and that God favoured pagans over Jews (because the latter lacked faith in God). Their hostility turned murderous when they tried to kill Jesus, failing to realise that they were doing precisely what Jesus said they would do.

But the greater lesson here is that, like God, Jesus does not force His ministrations on people who reject Him, but He reaches out to those who seek His help.

Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad, for the Lord comes to rule the earth.

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