The Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time
[Scripture Readings: Jer 1:4-5, 17-19; 1 Cor 13:4-13; Lk 4:21-30]
What a bracing experience during an ordinary conversation to have someone say something that is the right place to say it but it is not welcomed by the hearers. There may be an exchange of sharp verbal expressions. It may even degenerate to the realm of physical engagement. And tragically at times to lead to violence beyond recall. What started out as a cordial exchange slides down to a confrontation of opinions.
Once upon a time a newly elected abbot of our Order visited another monastery. One of the members told him he had seen a photo of the abbot’s community with him in it. He quoted Scripture and thought that it would bring out the age differential between the new superior and the senior members, telling him: “You look like a lamb among wolves.” His youth and dark hair would seem to support him. But the abbot took it as an affront to the community and started telling him the many bright points the members had in their favor. They seemed to be operating on different wave lengths to say the least.
In the Gospel this morning there was an exchange of ideas. By citing God’s selection for healing that was outside the circle of the Jewish people, Jesus tried to point out that God is in control of human events that includes other persons by reminding them of Elijah and Elisha. Jesus was not sent only to the Jews. The orbit of God is wider than the chosen people.
Eventually, like a lamb, Jesus would be lead to another hill, that of Calvary, where they would finally have their way with him. An inscription above his head would give his name, the place where he grew up, and a title expressing his dominion: “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” the Lamb would be slain and finally out of the way or so thought his adversaries. And yet this same Jesus is the very Person we adore as our Savior, our King, our God. He was in the right place at the right time according to his Father’s reckoning. May we be in the right place at the right time and live in his presence as followers of the one true God.