4th Sunday in Ordinary time, Lk 4, 21-30
Aesop tells the story of a young Fox meeting a Lion for the first time. He was terribly frightened, ran away and hid himself in the woods. The next time he came near the King of Beasts, however, he stopped at a safe distance and watched him pass by. The third time they encountered one another the Fox went straight up to the Lion and passed the time of day with him, asking him about his family, and when he should have the pleasure of seeing him again; then turning on his tail, he parted from the Lion without more ado.
Jesus has returned to his home town where he lived for nearly 30 years. Being a carpenter like Joseph, he was the main maintenance man of the town which probably only had a few hundred people. After all that time he was well known and would have been party to the ups and downs of the lives of very many its families. This would have been invaluable formation for his ministry. Being a carpenter, however, Jesus was not expected to be a preacher let alone the Messiah.
How often do we not recognize good in something or someone because we see it/him/her every day? Close acquaintance can often blind us to its or their value. Like a prophet not being honoured in his own country.
People using dangerous tools or involved in highly dangerous activities, can easily discount the danger after a period of continual use. They can lose fear or respect for the harm it could do and act less safely. A prime example is the farmer who grows corn and shreds it before blowing it up into the silo. The shredder frequently gets jammed. Routinely unjamming it every day can make the farmer careless, until he or his son has a hand caught and shredded, not a rare occurrence.
Think about the parish and the people you know! Are you missing the riches, wisdom, goodness and the love they offer you at every encounter? Food for thought!
At the heart of the Gospel, however, lies another big challenge.
Do we really live in God’s world and do we try to fit God into our world? For the people of Nazareth, Jesus did not fit their image of the Messiah and they remained closed to the truth. How often do we judge others because they do not fit into our picture of who they should be as followers of Christ??????
Be consoled, however! God only sees the good, the love, the gifts, virtues and capabilities, caring and kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, friendship in you……and never loses the belief in your ability of achieving great things that will reflect God’s immense and all-embracing love for every single one of us!
by Fr Thomas O'Brien a.a