Today’s Gospel: Luke 4:16-30
Have you ever put your foot in your mouth, creating an awkward situation by accident or embarrassing yourself in a public way? We all can probably relate, except for Jesus. In today’s Gospel, Jesus reads from the Scriptures and proclaims that what He had just read was fulfilled in the worshippers’ hearing. He could have left it at that and walked out of the synagogue peacefully, perhaps even with a group following Him in amazement.
But He didn’t. Instead Jesus deliberately calls attention to the fact that those hearing Him would not believe the words He had spoken. Twice in fact, just in case they missed it the first time!
This is a story that reminds us of the radicalness of Jesus and His message. Jesus challenged His followers to think beyond mere words to see the deeper reality of who He truly is. Jesus, being completely human, understood the faults and failings of human nature. He knew that what He was proclaiming would be tough for the Jewish people of Nazareth to swallow. But look at how He doesn’t back down or soften the message. He doesn’t bend the rules just because He was in His hometown.
Jesus, and by extension the Catholic Church, operates the same way today. There are certain truths that we Catholics believe to be Truth. Consider the Trinity, the Eucharist, the Incarnation, the Immaculate Conception, the Resurrection. These are all pieces of our faith that cannot and will not be compromised, even if some find them difficult to understand. It isn’t so much that the Church is an unbreakable iron rod but rather a living tree. To alter these truths is to alter the very trunk, or as Jesus would say, the vine. Jesus is the uncompromising vine; we are the branches.
How does today’s Gospel challenge you to grow in your understanding of Scripture and Church teaching?
Dear Jesus, please help me to be uncompromising in my faith. If there are truths I struggle with, please open my mind and soften my heart so I might hear and understand Your word. Amen.
Copyright 2017 Kate Taliaferro
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