Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1: 1 Thess. 4: 13-18; Gospel: Lk. 4: 16-30
The Gospel passage from Luke presents to us two different and conflicting reactions of the people towards Jesus.
First, we see that ‘people spoke well of him and were amazed at Jesus’ (Lk 4:22). But later, they were filled with rage, so much so that they wanted to kill Jesus by pushing him off from the cliff (Lk 4:29-30).
Why such varied reactions within such a short span of time? The reason too becomes evident when we read the Gospel closely. The first reaction was the response to the ‘gracious words’ of Jesus about good tidings. The second reaction was due to the fact that Jesus plainly spoke about the bitter ‘truth’. It angered His listeners.
Very often in life, we could find ourselves reacting in the same way towards Jesus. We have a tendency to confine Jesus (God) to a particular understanding that we develop and expect Him to behave or act according to our understanding. When God does not respond to us as we expect (as He very often does), we find it difficult to identify God’s presence and blessings in our life.For example, I am sick. I pray for healing to God. God can indeed heal me in different ways if He so wills. It could be a miraculous cure or gradual healing or medical intervention, etc. God could even give me an inner spiritual healing which would help me to endure the suffering with fortitude and gratitude. But if I fix my mind on a miraculous instant healing and expect only that from God, then I would reject and be unmindful of any other blessing that the Lord bestows on me.
Do I desire only to hear ‘gracious words’ from Jesus? Am I always praying for ‘my will’ to be done rather than God’s? Do I get upset when God does not grant my will/desire? Do I try to confine the Almighty God to my limited understanding? If the answer is affirmative, let’s seek God’s pardon and ask for His grace to always respond to Him in love and never to react.