for Sunday, January 31, 2010
When we read the Gospel today, from Saint Luke, we see this first strong
rejection of Jesus. Last week Jesus read from the Prophet Isaiah and told
his own people that he was the fulfillment of that prophecy. This week we
see the response: total and complete rejection. They did speak highly of
Jesus at first, but as they began to realize what He was saying, they
simply could not accept His words.
This happens to lots of people even in our own time. People who grew up
believing, but then as they get older, they reflect on what they have been
taught—and they reject it. It really makes no sense at all to lots of
people that a human being could be God. It does not matter what miracles
He works, it does not matter how He interprets the Jewish Scriptures, for
us the Old Testament. It is simply inconceivable that a real man could be
On the other hand, today lots of people like to say that we are all gods.
We Catholics do believe that in some sense we have become divine because of
Jesus. But we never claim that we are gods in the sense the He is God. We
always say that we are adopted children whereas He is the true and complete
Son of God.
Still others will say that any and all religions have truly damaged
humanity. We will surely see this stated in modern court cases. There is
a huge attempt today to deny any validity to religious belief.
The first reading, from the Prophet Jeremiah, states fairly
straightforwardly that this prophet will suffer for what he tells the
people. This is the kind of prophecy that Jesus knows will come true in
His own life. Anyone who begins talking to others with a message that
states that God is talking through him is either totally crazy, mentally
disturbed, an unbalanced fanatic, or something worse. The chances of
someone like that really reflecting a message from God is so unlikely. How
much more unlikely is the person who claims to be God!
Our whole Christian faith is based on the presupposition (for us, the
belief) that God does speak to us and that God can direct our actions and
that God can and has become one of us. If we reject this, then we should
not claim to be Christians because it is so clearly was Jesus taught, said
and insisted on.
The First Letter to the Corinthians today is telling us that at the heart
of our Christian faith, we are being formed to love one another, to love
even our enemies, to be able to reflect the love that God has for us. We
can spend some time this Sunday simply reflecting on today's words about
love: Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not
pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own
interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does
not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all
things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love
Surely we share in Christ's divinity if we can live this way. May He
draw us by His love so that we may walk in His paths.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: