HOMILY CONNECT–JANUARY 30, 2022 – FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Scripture Jer 1:4-5 1Cor 12:31 – 13:13 LK 4:21-30
A LITTLE PARABLE
Once there was a town in which all of the inhabitants were blind. A king with his entourage arrived one day with a mighty elephant which he used to impress his subjects. The people of the town were anxious to find out what an elephant was like and sent three of their blind members to investigate. Since none of them had ever encountered an elephant, they groped sightlessly with their hands, gathering information by touching some part of the elephant. When they returned to their fellow citizens, they were asked about the shape of the elephant. The man who had reached an ear said, “The elephant is a large, round thing, wide and broad like a rug.” The one who had felt the trunk said, “No, I have the real facts about the elephant. It is a straight and narrow pipe awful and destructive.” The woman who had felt the leg said, “The elephant is mighty and firm like a pillar.” All were blinded to the total picture.
A BRIEF EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE – IS IT POSSIBLE?
I lock on to a particular perspective and nothing is gong to convince me otherwise?
I hear only what I want to hear?
What is not true can be reshaped into something that I am convinced is true?
How do I react when I am challenged to see something differently?
Am I open to changing my mind or expanding my heart?
Am I quick to make assumptions?
Am I able to receive with respect a different viewpoint?
Do I believe that to “agree to disagree” with love is an appropriate strategy for repairing divisions among us?
Is my compassion limited and my judgment limited? How do I feel about reversing that?
JESUS AND HIS FRIENDS IN NAZARETH -THE SYNAGOGUE
Jesus stands before people from town who know him – reads from the scroll proclaiming: he proclaims, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me. The Spirit has sent me to proclaim good news to the poor… Today this saying is fulfilled in your hearing.”
JESUS MISSION – TENDER – COMPASSIONATE – EXPANSIVE
Only the poor, hurting, excluded, hear the message
Saying will only be fulfilled if you truly hear it
At first Nazarenes were very receptive
Then with the snap of a finger – they were filled with anger
Yes, Jesus is the son of Joseph but is so much more – the Son of God
JESUS REACHES OUT OF HIMSELF – HE IS FOR ALL PEOPLE
He wanted to bring good news to those the Nazarenes did not like
Jesus like Elijah – moved beyond own people – ministered to poor and sick
Jesus like Elisha – moved beyond ow community to serve army commander and lepers
WHAT IS JESUS SAYING?
If are to be my disciple, you must have my heart – You must follow my lead
You are to love expansively – share my blessings with people
NO MATTER WHAT!
To remove divisions between people – eliminate discrimination
Us to see the unshakeable goodness in everyone
We have to receive all people into our hearts
THE PEOPLE OF NAZARETH
Did not like the message – they closed their ears and hearts
TODAY – WHAT ABOUT YOU AND ME
Today, what about you and me? Are there words of Jesus, words of the Gospel, that we do not want to hear? Like the blind villagers describing the elephant, do we want to describe Jesus in ways that suit our fancy and ignore the big picture? Or do we allow the Lord to challenge our perspectives and our assumptions?
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
What impacted you from the readings/homily?
SEE THE BRIEF EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE ABOVE
Consider ways that you describe Jesus that might not be a way that we would describe Himself.
Pray for eyes that see unshakeable goodness and to receive all people into your heart.