Fourth Sunday After Epiphany
First Reading: Jeremiah 1:4-10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 71
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a
Gospel Reading: Luke 4:21-31
Our gospel today talks about the response of the Jewish people to the first preaching of Jesus in His hometown. Let’s imagine ourselves as one of the people who were inside the synagogue with Him. How do you think we would respond? The Jews responded first with amazement, then later it turned into wrath and unbelief.
Why? First they could not believe that this homegrown boy proclaimed that the prophecy was fulfilled that day. Secondly, how could He say that He was anointed by the Holy Spirit, and specially in saying that salvation is also for the Gentiles. It pricks their pride as a chosen people and shattered their belief in the exclusiveness of salvation. This meant that they should also repent and believe in Jesus like Gentiles for them to receive salvation.
For us, how do we respond when we hear the Word? In the pulpit, when we read, or when somebody shares to us? Like the Jews, they like the truth when it enlightens them but hate the truth when it confronts them. They like gracious words but they don’t like to face the truth. May we have a submissive or surrendered heart towards God.
Jesus responded in love. He did not retaliate nor had a bad feeling against them but continued to be patient and forgiving to them and to us. He knew He had been called to be a prophet and The Messiah, to suffer and die for the sins of world. He was merciful to us knowing that apart from God we were miserable, destined for destruction and hell.
We are currently in the state of grace; God is giving us ample time to repent. This is what the acceptable year of the Lord is all about! Today is the day of salvation, don’t harden your hearts. The day of vengeance of the Lord is coming. In Isaiah 61:2 where this prophecy originated, it says that the day of vengeance of the Lord follows after the acceptable year of the Lord. This is reserve for His second coming. Our God is merciful, full of loving kindness and slow to anger, but He is also righteous.
May we respond to His grace in faith and humility.
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