Scripture: 1st Reading: 1Thess4,13-18; Resp. Psalm: Ps96,1,3-5,11-13; Gosp. Accl.: Lk4,18; Gospel: Lk4,16-30
In today's word, our Lord visited Nazareth where he had been brought up. Before His visit to the Synagogue on the Sabbath that day, our Lord realized and knew that He represented the finality of the prophetic utterances concerning the Messiah. Our Lord knew that He was the One Isaiah wrote about. He knew He was the Messiah. He knew also that there could be no better place to reveal His true identity than Nazareth, where He was brought up.
The reaction of the people who thought they had always known Him would be a litmus test to preview what the reaction of the rest of Israel would be. The people of Nazareth thought they knew Him because of His Mother Mary and His foster father Joseph. They saw only His humanity. They could not enter into the mystery of His divinity. They could not understand how both the human and divine nature could reside in one Person. This mystery was beyond their comprehension.
On that Sabbath day in the synagogue of the town of Nazareth, our Lord gave the confirmation of the ancient promise. When He was handed the scroll of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah and read from Isaiah 61,1-2, the text concerning the coming of the Messiah, our Lord told His hearers that the fulfillment of the dream and the end of the waiting had arrived. Our Lord that day proclaimed the fulfillment of this prophecy.
As expected of One with the fullness of divinity in Him, His words made deep impression on the people. The great problem there however, was that these people wanted to stop at this level of admiration. They doubted where He got the gracious words from. They could only see Him as human; they traced His human ancestry. But they failed to see Him as divine.
As a result of their mistake that they knew where He came from, they did not accept Him. When our Lord pointed to them other classic cases where their forefathers rejected Elijah and Elisha, undoubtedly two of the greatest prophets Israel had ever known, the people decided to murder Him by throwing Him down the brow of the hill on which their city was built. They thus confirmed the words of our Lord that a prophet is not acceptable in his own country.
Our Lord Jesus is the fulfillment of all the hopes of countless generations of humanity. He brings the longings of our hearts to fulfillment. He fulfills our longings while we are alive. He perfects our hopes when we die. When we thus believe in Him, death becomes a better and indeed a perfect continuation of life. Death becomes a positive encounter with the object of our desires. When we live our lives in Him, then when we die, we will rise in Christ.
The word thus encourages us this morning to live our lives to the fullest. That fullest living can only be in Christ. St. Theresa of Calcutta, or simply Mother Theresa, whose memorial we celebrate today, was such a woman of extraordinary courage. She was a woman of extraordinary faith in Jesus, her Spouse.
St. Theresa of Calcutta entrusted her entire life into the hands of our Lord. She lived her entire life for Him in the poor of Calcutta, the poor of India, and the poor of the world. St. Theresa taught us by her life that holiness of life is attainable, achievable and is possible. She taught us that holiness is following our passion for the good of the kingdom. May she intercede for us.
Let us pray: God our heavenly Father, you have given us in Christ a true Messiah and Saviour of the world. Lead us daily to a greater love for Him and a perfect attachment to Him. Give us your grace to make Him known so that the entire universe can see and experience your salvation. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always. Have a blessed week ahead.