Chapter after Chapter of Luke’s Gospel Jesus is revealed as a prophet and the fulfillment of all the prophesies before him. So, it should be no surprise that Jesus, the prophet, should suffer the same fate as those before him. Today’s conclusion of the Nazareth Synagogue visit is a preview of how it will all end for Jesus. There is also a warning for all of us who listen to the word of God just as they listened; first with satisfied pride, and then with rage. … more »
If you look at this gospel in the Bible or a Missal, you may notice that what was just proclaimed is actually two parts of Luke’s Gospel put together. What the Church gives us today is two introductions; first to the Gospel as a whole from the first chapter and then to Jesus of Nazareth in the fourth chapter. What was skipped in between was the whole Lukan story of the birth of Christ which we heard in December.
Now, the hometown boy comes to the Synagogue as he had all his life. … more »
As I have said over and over again when we proclaim these words of Jesus, we must ask, “What does this mean?” not “How did he do that?” At the same time, we must remember that in John’s Gospel there are no “miracles”. That word is never used. There are “signs”, and this is the first of seven. Remembering that helps in asking the right question, “What does this mean?” In John’s Gospel, these signs, like road signs, point to something. … more »
The Baptism of Jesus ought to raise some questions in our minds about what was going on and what it was all about. It certainly cannot suggest that Jesus needed to be baptized because he was sinful. There is no reason to think, at the same time, that he was becoming one of John’s disciples by that act. This event that Luke reports calls us to listen carefully to the prophet we just heard proclaimed here, and to the voice from heaven that was heard that day. … more »
Matthew is the only Gospel writer to report on these visitors who take center stage today. So, we know nothing about them other than that they came from the east. For that matter, they have come from Miami! What the “east mean” and is it really important to know? Were there only three? It doesn’t seem to be a safe way to travel if they came from afar. There had to have been a whole caravan to support and protect them coming from the east, which in fact is a rather desolate place, east of Israel. … more »