Today’s Gospel: Luke 4, 24-30
In today’s Gospel Jesus rebukes his own people—the people of his hometown Nazareth—because of their hardness of heart. He challenges them for their reluctance to accept him as their messiah.
Those who should know Jesus best misunderstand him. The people of Nazareth are skeptical about Jesus because they are already familiar with him. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” They think they know enough about him to decide just what he can and cannot do. And the carpenter’s son surely cannot be the messiah. And so they close their hearts to accepting the greatest news the world has ever heard, from the greatest man (okay, I know, he’s also God) this world has ever seen.
At times I find myself acting like the people of Nazareth. I’m tempted to think that I already know enough about Jesus, that I’ve had enough experience with him to know just what he can and cannot do. I think, “You’re great and all, Jesus, but I highly doubt you can heal this wound in my heart, or transform this (seemingly) hopeless situation.” I know it’s crazy, but I often underestimate the power and the depth of God’s infinite love.
Pope Francis invites us to “Let God surprise us.” What a beautiful invitation! God loves when we are open to receiving great and unexpected gifts from him. He loves when we trust in his desire and ability to do miraculous things in our lives. That the carpenter’s son from Nazareth was actually the Son of God come to save us was surely a joyful surprise. The Incarnation, the Resurrection, the Eucharist—these are glorious surprises from God. Perhaps today on leap day, a surprising day in itself, we can open our hearts confidently to receive the surprises God has in store for us.
Am I open to being surprised by God’s love, which always surpasses my expectations? In what ways have I received and accepted the gifts that God has offered me recently?
Lord, I trust confidently in your love for me and in your ability to work in my life. Please open my heart so I receive all of the abundant and surprising gifts you wish to give me.
Copyright 2016 Will Hudson
Will works for the Apostleship of Prayer as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. He joined the AoP in 2015 after completing his master’s degree in Theology at Boston College. He was born and raised in Kansas and received his undergraduate degree from Benedictine College in Atchison, KS, where he met his beautiful wife Jenna.