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Theology for the common man

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, February 03, 2019

And so it happened, what was expected. Jesus after his preaching about his salutary mission in the synagogue of Nazareth was rejected by his own kinsmen. This is a fate of the prophets; they were never accepted in their own native place. The inhabitance of Nazareth couldn’t believe, that so known to these acquaintances, and in truth, the son of Mary and Joseph the carpenter would be the savior sent by God. It doesn’t fit in their minds, not mentioning the religious and old-testament political correctness. Jesus pours additionally, oil to the fair, giving to his listeners the examples of well receiving the message of God in the history of Israel by foreigners: Elijah the prophet was hosted by the widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon during the time of severe famine; only Naaman, the Syrian, was cleansed from the leprosy by Elisha's words and no one was cured from the sons of Israel. Jesus concentrates on the lack of faith, which had men from his examples, and no his kinsmen; and this is the main message of today's Gospel. You can have everything at your hand but if you have no faith which is the key to understanding His salutary message, nothing will be effective in your life. This is also why the prostitutes and thieves who receive His invitation to conversion with faith enter the Kingdom of God before all others. It is no wonder the reaction of the listeners who felt touched by the words of Jesus and wanted his death. Ultimately then a criterion of divine choosing is not a national convenience to Israel, but only the love of God, the love which requires the faith in the power of God in the receivers. The mark of this love is emphasized in today's second reading from St. Paul in his famous hymn about love.