Body and Blood of Christ

Lectio

Drinking Well

 

They hustled him out of town          

Jesus began to speak in the synagogue: “This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.”  And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips.
 
They said, “This is Joseph’s son, surely?”  But he replied, “No doubt you will quote me the saying, ‘Physician, heal yourself’ and tell me, ‘We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside.’”

 And he went on, “I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.  There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land, but Elijah was not sent to any one of these; he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town.  And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian, Naaman.” 

When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged.  They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away. 

                                                                                       Luke 4:21-30

Lectio

I n January 2010 a devastating earthquake struck the island of Haiti.  An estimated 316,000 people were killed, 300,000 were injured and a million were made homeless.  On the following Sunday people gathered in the ruins of the cathedral in the capital, Port-au-Prince, to celebrate Mass.  The celebrant, Fr. Toussaint, said something you may find helpful, especially if you are angry with God.  “Thanks be to God that we are here.  But this does not mean that we are better than anyone else.”  He said that they were not better than the thousands who were dead.  It was not that those present had survived because they deserved it and that the others did not.  They were alive only by the mercy of God.

Doctor, heal yourself
The people in Jesus’ home town of Nazareth felt entitled to special treatment.  They had known him all their lives, they knew his people, he was one of their own.  He had gone away and become famous in other towns for the miracles of healing that he performed.  Now he must do similar or greater miracles for them. 

When he preached in their synagogue on the Sabbath day, he won the approval of them all and they were amazed at the gracious words that he spoke.  Then he quoted a saying they were familiar with, ‘Doctor, heal yourself,’ and he told them that that he knew what they were thinking.  He said, ‘No doubt you will say, ‘We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside.’
 
He said that this was not God’s way.  When there was a famine in the days of the prophet Elijah, God sent Elijah to help a foreign widow, not one of the many widows among his own people of Israel.  And in the days of the prophet Elisha, it was a Syrian who was cured of leprosy, not one of the many lepers in Israel.  Jesus was telling the people of Nazareth that he was sent for everybody everywhere; his own people had no special claim on him; they had no right to preferential treatment.  When they heard this, they were furious and they drove him out of the town. 

The surprising thing is that if they accepted that they had no special claim on him, they would not miss out on anything.  Jesus had set out to build a world where no one had special claims or special privileges; his care and mercy was for all, especially for the weakest and neediest.  In such a world nobody would be favoured, and nobody would be left out.

As we remember the times we were angry with God, we may come to see that we have no claim on God, and are not entitled to anything from him.  Please God, we will also discover as we gradually learn to trust more in his providence and in his mercy toward everybody, that we are not missing out on anything. 
                                                                           Brendan  Clifford
 
Prayer Psalm 86


O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
full of love to all who call.
Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my voice.
All the nations shall come to adore you
and glorify your name, O Lord:
for you are great and do marvelous deeds,
you who alone are God.
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart
and glorify your name for ever;
for your love to me has been great:
you have saved me from the depths of the grave.

 

 

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