Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”
UNDERSTAND | By Father Greg Friedman, OFM
A favorite Christian writer of mine, Frederick Buechner, once wrote that there’s no record of anyone inviting a prophet home to dinner more than once. Buechner’s quip was his way to define the role of the biblical prophets—certainly they were controversial figures!
Today we hear God choose Jeremiah for that role. God warns the prophet that his message to the kings and priests of Judah will be so challenging that he’ll meet with opposition. Biblical prophets weren’t out to make enemies, but felt impelled to speak the truth, God’s truth, with love. It just so happened that their message was often “tough love.”
Jesus, in our Gospel today, is a prophet visiting his hometown. He anticipates resistance, stating clearly that no prophet is ever accepted in his native place. His words prove true as the people rise up to throw Jesus over a cliff!
Few of us are called to be prophets—but I suspect we can identify some contemporary figures who fit that role. Pope John Paul the Second has often challenged the Church and the secular world with his teaching of the Gospel, on a variety of subjects from abortion to capital punishment to social justice.
How do we accept the prophetic message we hear proclaimed each Sunday? And would we invite the bearer of that message home for Sunday dinner?
DISCUSS | By Father Dan Kroger, OFM
This section of Jeremiah (Jer 1:4-5, 17-19), gives some particulars about his calling to be a prophet. Does it sound like something you would want to do? Why and why not?
According to the first reading, who are the ones who will be Jeremiah’s adversaries? God promises that they will fight against Jeremiah, but will they defeat him?
In the second reading (1Cor 13:4-13), Paul talks about the greatest gift of God. What is it?
This passage gives a beautiful description of love. Is it clear why St. Paul thinks love is so very important?
According to the Gospel (Lk 4:21-30), Jesus spoke at the synagogue in Nazareth. What was the impact of his message?
Why did the people at the synagogue get so very upset with Jesus?
What did they want to do to Jesus?
In the first reading, it almost sounds as if Jeremiah is a type of super hero. Draw a picture of what you think he might look like if he was.
The second reading is one that we often hear at weddings. Make a collage of words that you think demonstrate what love means or looks like.