January 28, 2007  4th Sunday Year C

Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19
I Cor. 12:31-13;13
Luke: 4:21-30

Jeremiah (1st reading) is a very human prophet. People rejected both himself and his teaching, and as a result he felt very hurt. His heart was wounded. But God says: 'Fear not, I am with you, I will save you.' God says he same to us today.

Jesus (Gospel) was also rejected by his own friends and relatives in Nazareth. Because He was human, he too felt this hurt.
But Jesus is also God, and we pray to Him. He says: 'Fear not, I am with you in your heart.' When we feel lonely, hurt, or rejected we can got to Jesus with confidence knowing that He has experienced the same kind of hurt. He understands.

Why did the people of Nazareth reject Jesus? They could not accept this mere son of a carpenter as their teacher. Even more, they could not accept his teaching that God loves every human being - even those that the people of Nazareth regarded as outsiders, i.e. foreigners! Their vision was so narrow and insular.

Paul in the 2nd reading tells us that the love that Jesus speaks about is like. Through over-use the word 'love' has lost much of its deep meaning. What is my love for people like? Is it also narrow and insular? Is it selfish and confined? Let us read this passage of St Paul slowly as an examination of conscience. Let us expand our love for others.

God loves each one of us- let us share that warmth.

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