Wednesday, Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr
Jesus startled his familiar audience with a seeming rebuke that no prophet or servant of God can receive honour among his own people. The people of Nazareth took offense at Jesus and refused to listen to what he had to say. They despised his preaching because he was a mere workman, a carpenter, and a layman who had no formal training by a scholar or teacher. They also despised him because of his undistinguished family background. Jesus could do no mighty works in their midst because they were closed-minded and unbelieving towards him. If people have come together to hate and to refuse to understand, then they will see no other point of view than their own and they will refuse to love and accept others. How do you treat those who seem disagreeable to you?
What kind of authority and power does the Lord want you to exercise on his behalf? Jesus gave his apostles both the power and the authority to speak and to act in his name. He commanded them to do the works which he did – to heal the sick, to cast out evil spirits, and to speak the word of God – the good news of the Gospel which they received from Jesus. When Jesus spoke of power and authority he did something unheard of. He wedded power and authority with self-sacrificing love and humility. The “world” and the “flesh” (our own sinful inclination) seek power for selfish gain. Jesus teaches us to use it for the good of our neighbour.