1st Reading: Jer 1:4-5, 17-19
2nd Reading: 1Cor 12:31-13:13
Gospel: Luke 4:21-30
The Gospel reading to-day is a continuation of last week's Gospel Luke 4:14-21. Last week Luke told us that Jesus "with the power of the Spirit in Him returned to Galilee; and His reputation spread throughout the countryside - He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised Him."
While today we hear again that Jesus "won the approval of all and the people were astonished by the gracious words that came from His lips" this admiration soon turned sour! Today's Gospel ends with the stunning words: "they took Him (Jesus) up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw Him down the cliff, but He slipped through the crowd and walked away".
How mysterious to relflect on the fact that the preaching of Jesus, the Son of God, who was filled with "the power of the Spirit", was rejected by some. Must we, His disciples, be surprised if our preaching is not accepted by our contemporaries. But Jesus continued to proclaim the truth no matter what the cost and we know that this ultimately led to the Cross. His love for His Father and for us His brothers and sisters was so great that it was unthinkable for Him to give up. St Paul's hymn on 'love' in the second reading could be paraphrased as follows:
Jesus was always patient and kind; He was never jealous; He was never boastful or conceited; never rude or selfish; did not take offence, and was not resentful. Jesus took no pleasure in other people's sins but delighted in the truth; He was always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever came.
Ultimately it was His love which triumphed over death and in Him we too triumph over sin and evil. And so we pray in the opening prayer of today's Mass:
Lord our God, help us to love you with all our hearts and to love all men and women as you love them. Amen.