Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Homily Video

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript

We hear that Jesus is in his hometown of Nazareth. Remember, he was born in Bethlehem, but Mary and Joseph took him to Mary’s town of Nazareth, and there he was raised. So it was here in Nazareth that Jesus is teaching in the synagogue, and we hear two reactions to Jesus’ teaching. One is very positive: They were enthralled at the way that Jesus was preaching. And the other one was, well, not so positive. They thought, “Who could this be? Isn’t this Joseph’s kid? Isn’t this the son of Joseph? We know Joseph. How could he be saying these things to us, talking about how he is the fulfillment of the prophets?” And so there’s a dialogue, an exchange, and Jesus said that a prophet is not welcome in his own hometown.

The people who hear Jesus’ preaching really have a hard time. They’re struggling to understand who he is, and they certainly know that he’s got great prophetic gifts, that’s for sure. In fact, he says he’s the fulfillment of the prophets. But they are just beginning to come to understand who Jesus truly is, and the fact that he is the Son of God. In fact, he, Jesus, with his Father, through the Holy Spirit, are the authors of all gifts, absolutely all gifts, as we heard about in that beautiful second reading that was read for us today. Friends, they are slowly coming to understand the giftedness and the beauty of who Jesus is, the Son of God, and that he with his Father are the authors of all good gifts.

I have an invitation for all of us today, especially as we continue to work on the renewal of our local church. I’m going to invite us to investigate in our own hearts which gifts we have been given. Now, think about it for a second. Perhaps you’re a great letter-writer, and you like to write letters to all your friends. That’s a spiritual gift. Or perhaps you’re a great phone-caller, and you like to phone your friends. Perhaps your gift is that you welcome your grandkids into your home and have great celebrations with your grandkids. What are the gifts that you have in spades, that God has given you for the building up of God’s kingdom?

I’m going to especially invite you to share the gift of talking with your kids or grandkids about your journey with Jesus. That is a gift. My family, there are five kids in my family, we always went to Mass on Sunday, and we took up the whole row, the whole pew. And I remember after Communion feeling so connected not only to Jesus, but also to my family. Can you share that story with others, how you feel connected to Jesus, how you’ve been gifted by Jesus? It’s in sharing those gifts that we build up the kingdom of God. We all have gifts; share them as Jesus invites us.

Readings

First Reading:

Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19

Second Reading:

Corinthians 1:4-5, 17-19

Gospel:

Luke 4:21-30

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