Sunday 3 February: Evangelisation calls for fresh ears
In our Gospel today the tide is beginning to turn as Jesus’ ratings plummet in his home town of Nazareth. Over the past few weeks our Gospel readings at Sunday Mass have recalled some wonderful events in the life of Jesus. It’s not so long ago since His ratings soared as he was born into our world as a little baby in Bethlehem. Since Christmas we have celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family, the Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord. We witnessed the first miracle in Cana, and last Sunday we saw Jesus being praised for his teaching in the Synagogue. But there is a major twist in the story this Sunday as we see the crowd in Nazareth taking Jesus to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, intending to throw him down the cliff.
What a turn around! - what has changed?
The people of Nazareth thought that they knew Jesus. In their eyes he was the Son of Joseph. They saw him grow up, go to school, learn his trade and they prayed beside him in the Synagogue. They felt that they knew him inside out and that he was just an ordinary guy like the rest of them. But they were wrong.
We too can think that we know Jesus just like the people of Nazareth did. We have heard the Gospel stories over and over again and we think that we know them inside out. The danger is that we become so familiar with the story that we don’t really listen and the Good News passes us by. Maybe this is the reason why Ireland and indeed the rest of Western Europe are so badly in need of re-evangelization - we’re simply not listening. But we, like every generation, need to hear the Gospel with fresh ears!
In this Year of Faith we could:
- find our Bibles, shake the dust off them, read the Gospel of Luke, and in so doing reacquaint ourselves with the person of Jesus.
- simply bring the Sunday bulletin home with us and reflect on the Sunday readings for the rest of the week .
- join, or set up a Lectio Divina group in our parish.
- surf the net for good websites that help us to grow in the faith such as www.wordonfire.org
- keep in touch with what is happening in our Church on www.catholicbishops.ie
How can I deepen my relationship with Jesus in this Year of Faith? How can I come to know Jesus in a real and concrete way? How can I share the Good News in my community?
(J C 2013)