The consoling words from the prophet Jeremiah give comfort to all of us.  God told him that he, like each of us, was known even in his mother’s womb.  It was this knowledge of being known and loved that gave Jeremiah the strength to stand before his people and prophesy some very strong and harsh words.  He was set as a strong pillar, a wall of brass, a fortified city.  He was rooted in love, because he needed to be so as not to be crushed by the anger and resentment stirred up by his prophetic words.

Jesus faces the same ire when visiting his hometown.  At first the Nazarenes praise him, but soon, as if they had some entitlement, they presumptuously demand that he perform miracles to satisfy their vanity – not to change their hearts.  When Jesus challenges them, their response is to want to throw him off a cliff!

As Christians, we all have a prophetic mission.  We’re called to preach the truths of the gospel, and at times this isn’t popular.  In the public square, the Church and Christians are often praised for their charitable work but asked to silence their religious voice when morality is discussed.  We need the strength and conviction of prophets as well as the love that drives them.

-Fr. Mark Haydu, LC

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 3, 2019

Expectations have a habit of tripping us up. We think we have it all figured out. We know what to expect. But then something happens to surprise us and we have to decide whether to believe it or not. Is this for real? The folks in Nazareth had expectations of their native son. This “son of Joseph” couldn’t possibly be the Anointed One, could he? God has a habit of surprising us, of defying our expectations.

Can I see the face of Jesus in someone I disagree with? Can I respond with love? Can that love bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things?