The people of Nazareth attempt to kill Jesus. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Understanding from the Holy Spirit so he can more frequently do Christ’s will and by growing in the Virtue of Studiousness so he can come to know Jesus better by daily study of Sacred Scripture.
22nd Week in Ordinary time – Monday – Lk 4:16-30
After His Baptism and Temptation in the Judaean desert, Jesus begins His public ministry by working His way west, preaching in synagogues and healing the sick; His reputation begins to grow. Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth and goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath, as was His custom. With His people Israel and fellow villagers, many of whom He was related to through the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, Jesus will announce that He is the Messiah.
Standing to read Scripture (Lk 4:16-20), Jesus selects and reads Isaiah’s 700-year-old prophecy of the Messiah who will bring miraculous healing and freedom to those in bondage. Stunned, the crowd watches as Jesus says, “this Scripture has been fulfilled”, an unavoidable declaration that He is the long-awaited Messiah. His people at first react well, but skepticism grows as they realize Jesus is St. Joseph’s son; mysteriously, despite having the Son of God, the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph in their midst for years, the people have failed to recognize Divinity and holiness.
Knowing that His own people will reject Him, Jesus rebukes them for their inability to recognize a prophet in their midst. Their anger grows, for by calling Himself a prophet, He has compared Himself to the revered Isaiah. Rebuking them again, Jesus reveals that Israel, His townsfolk themselves, as in the time of Elijah and Elisha, will not receive miraculous blessings. The people’s anger explodes into murderous intent, for Jesus has rebuked them, compared Himself to two additional heroic prophets and proclaimed the hated Gentiles will receive blessings and Israel will not. Jesus allows the mob to take Him up on a brow of a hill to throw Him off; in this preview of the violence and murder of Passion Week, Jesus’ prophecy of Israel’s rejection and loss of blessing is fulfilled. As always, Jesus remains in complete control, mysteriously walking through the vicious mob and departing.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at how Jesus challenges and faces down a violent mob: Divine Prophet, Jesus, with Divine Knowledge, courageously reveals the Truth of the coming Judgment; while He allows the murderous mob to condemn themselves by attempting to murder Him, He Intimidates them to back down through His powerful Charisma and physical Strength.
Seek understanding from the Spirit to do Christ’ will
Realize: After Jesus reveals that His mission as the Messiah (Anointed One, Christ) is to evangelize and heal all men including Gentiles (Sidon, Syria), some Jews angrily reject Christ’s will and attempt to kill him; in contrast, every Catholic man should understand and obediently accept Christ’s will.
Believe: Reflect upon the Expectations of the Messiah and His Spirit (CCC 695, 711-716).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so I more fully understand Christ’s will for me, obediently accept His will, and better understand how to joyfully carry out His will in my daily life.
Study Scripture each day to better know Jesus
Realize: Jesus, raised by St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary to read and memorize Scripture at home and in the synagogue, desires that every Catholic man reads and comes to know Him deeply in Scripture.
Believe: Reflect upon the necessity of Reading Scripture (CCC 133, 129, 1437, 2205, 2653).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Word, help me build the Virtue of Studiousness (a part of Temperance) so I am inspired to study Scripture daily, come to have a vast and deep knowledge of You through Scripture, am guided by You in my struggle for holiness, and fulfill my duty to lead my family to meet and know You in Scripture.