Monday of the 22nd Week of the Year

Luke 4:16-30

The Rejection at Nazareth


Who among us experienced being rejected in our hometown, by our own people? Today’s gospel reminds us of men/women who were rejected by their spouses, loved ones; parents rejected by their children; children rejected by their parents; brothers and sisters rejected by their siblings; the aged rejected by the young and so on. We ourselves surely have experienced rejection and have been guilty of rejecting others.

I remember being indifferent to a non-Catholic missionary struggling to preach inside a running bus. He was bringing the good news to a communing public. I refused to listen and pretended to be sleeping in my seat.

“Whatever you do to least of my brethren, you do it to me.” How about accepting every brother/sister we come in contact with as Jesus? How about welcoming Jesus in every person who comes to us? How about being nice and loving to someone we don’t like, to one we consider an enemy? How about loving and serving Jesus in the poor, the marginalized, the exploited, abandoned, the rejected?

“Jesus, our brother and Lord, forgive us and enable us to accept and love others as they are and as you love each one of us. Amen.” (Sr. Ma. Melanie, SSpS Bible Diary 2002)


In today’s gospel Jesus is back in Nazareth to proclaim the platform of his ministry using the Word of God. He announced that he came to alleviate human misery. And in fact we see him during his public ministry healing, consoling, forgiving. For suffering is not God’s will for us.

But didn’t Jesus fail in the end? Aren’t our prisons fuller than ever, our hospitals overflowing with misery? Isn’t there more suffering in the world than ever before? Didn’t Jesus himself have to suffer horribly?

God knows that without struggle we would not be able to face the reality of life. He allows certain sufferings and through Christ he gives us courage in the face of fear, faith in the face of doubt, trust and the assurance that suffering can be made meaningful if we join ourselves to the sufferings of Christ. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


Once there was a rich man who lay dying; called his children around him and said: “I am about the leave you all my earthly possessions. There is one more thing I would like to leave you, namely, Christian faith. If I could leave you that and nothing else, you would be rich indeed. If I would leave you everything else and not faith, you would be poor indeed.” God says the same thing to us. He asks us to have faith above everything else. For example, Jesus was only a carpenter (Lk 4:22). If he had had better credentials such as wealth, grandeur and prestigious parents, the people of his town probably would not have rejected him. As it was, everything was simply about him and hence it called for faith to accept as the Son of God. Hence, only those who had faith could accept his message. The reason why God prefers a simple and an unassuming approach towards us is because that approach leaves some room in us for faith. A Jesuit, Fr. Vima Dasan, said: “Faith is not much a leap in the dark, as a leap out of darkness into light. Faith puts God between our circumstances and us, so that our life is safe in any circumstance. (Fr. Eliseo Yyance, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


When I came back from Germany in 1995 after a period of 15 years, Berlin’s Cardinal George Sterzinsky asked me to convey his greetings to Jaime Cardinal Sin in person. So I made an appointment with him three days later. What impressed was the Cardinal’s welcomed: “You are no in the house of Sin!” it sounded awkward to me but the truth was I was in his house!

Corinth, a city that had a reputation for being of the most wicked in Asia Minor, was at the crossroads of commerce, the home of various pagan cults and to a mixed population of Greeks, Jews and Romans. As Paul preached in the city and converted so many people to Christianity, he made it clear that the credit belonged to God and not to him. Corinthians were converted by the power of the Holy Spirit and hence their belief in Jesus rested on God’s power, not Paul’s. god provided the faith necessary for them to believe despite the weakness, fear and trembling of the message.

Jesus tells His disciples that the Father knows of their needs and will provide for them. There is no point in worrying about what they are to eat, drink or wear. More important than their bodily needs are the spiritual needs of the soul. Seeking the kingdom of God and remaining in God’s grace should take first place in their list of priorities. A loving God always provides for those who follow Him.

Because of our human nature, we tend to worry about the future just as the early disciples worried. Many people worry whether or not they will be able to provide for themselves and their families. With downsizing and outsourcing, with reports of financial scandals and corrupt business policies filling the newspapers and television shows, these are legitimate worries. Yet, we too had the promise that God will provide for the needs of those who trust in Him. God’s providence comes to us in many ways, even the fruits of the work of our own hands. As St. John Damascus said, “Providence is the care of God takes of all existing things!” (Fr. Gene Bacareza, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


When Jesus stood and read from Isaiah, he was announcing his mission in life, His life’s mission program to the people of His time, and to us in the here and now.

What should be our response? He cited two Old Testament figures, Naaman the Syrian and the widow of Zarephath, as examples of responding to His mission. The woman of Zarephath responded in faith. She believed in the words of the prophet Elijah without the guarantee of proof. Same too with Naaman the Syrian, a leper who got healed through the intervention of Elisha the prophet. Both heard God’s word and even though God’s demands on them seemed unreasonable, they believed, obeyed, and got rewarded. Both are unlike Jesus’ townmates who wanted the reward first and only then would they believe. God does not deal with us this way. God requires faith before rewards will be given in due time, in His time. (Fr. Nile Gealan, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


LET THE WORLD TREMBLE (Lk 4:16-19): There is so much suffering in the world. Many of these sufferings that people endure could have been avoided if only there were more among us who are more just and concerned, more humble and serving.

There are two ways of correcting the injustice that we see in the world today. The first one was done by the prophet Micah. He stood up and spoke against it. He condemned the injustice that he saw. One way of fighting evil is to speak and protest against it.

The second way of fighting evil was shown by the Lord. According to the evangelist, the Lord did not say a word. He just went around consoling the distressed, curing the sick and giving hope to those who were lost.

Both ways are effective. And yet when we look at ourselves, we realize that the evil around us comes from our lack of faith. There is so much evil in the world because our activities against evil are not rooted in prayer. Who are those who change the world? Who are the most effective helpers of the poor? the ones who truly change the world are the sisters who are constantly at prayer in the convents. We do not see them issuing press releases to condemn unjust structures. They change the world in prayer and through prayer.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta was once asked, “What is your secret?” she answered, “Our secret is our hours of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.”

Where a holy person kneels down to pray, the whole world trembles. (Socrates Villegas, Jesus in my Heart, p. 73)



Jesus is rejected at Nazareth. Imagine driving along smoothly, when, bam, you hit a giant pothole. The jolt rearranges all your bones. That’s what today’s reading does, also. Why do people react so violently to Jesus?

First, Jesus takes upon Himself a prophet’s role by saying that He is fulfilling the scriptures. And no prophet is accepted in his hometown. Second, Jesus challenges his Jewish listeners by praising two Gentiles, a widow and a leper. That’s like nominating a Democrat at a Republican convention.

The people’s reaction to Jesus brings the starry-eyed Christian down to earth with a thud. It previews the rejection that Jesus will meet in many other places in the days ahead.

Today’s reading invites us to ask ourselves: How open are we to all of Jesus’ teachings?

Today’s reading invites us to pray: Lord, help us to accept your word, no matter how much it challenges us and jars us out of our complacency. (Mark Link, SJ Illustrated Daily Homilies Weekdays p. 199)


V. 21: What part of the Bible has found fulfillment in your life? Today, read a Bible passage and try to do what it tells you. Remember the word of God was written not just for reading or reflection but for action. Live the word (Fr. Ching OP).



MONDAY OF THE 22ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 4:16-30. Unsa man ang misyon sa mga Kristiyano karong panahona? Pinaagi sa bunyag, kita gidihogan aron ipadayon ang misyon ni Kristo, nga karon nagpabilin nga susama niini: Pagdala sa Maayong Balita ngadto sa mga kabos, mga binilanggo, mga buta, mga nilutos ug sa tanan nga may panginahanglan. Si Santa Teresa nga taga Avila nagpahinumdum kanato nga ang Ginoo nagsalig kanato: “Si Kristo, sa kalibotan karon wala nay lawas kondili ang imoha, wala nay kamot kondili ang imoha. Imoha ang mga mata nga iyang gamiton sa pagtan-aw sa kalibotan uban sa kalooy. Imoha ang mga tiil nga iyang gamiton sa paglakaw ug pagbuhat og maayo.” Ang mga Kristiyano diay adunay misyon sa pagdala sa gugma ni Kristo ngadto sa matag tawo nga ilang ikahinagbo ug ika-ila karong higayona. Posted by Abet Uy


Sunday, August 30, 2015

MONDAY OF THE 22ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 4:16-30. UNSA MAN ANG MISYON SA MGA KRISTIYANO KARONG PANAHONA? Pinaagi sa bunyag, kita gidihogan aron ipadayon ang misyon ni Kristo, nga karon nagpabilin nga susama niini: Pagdala sa Maayong Balita ngadto sa mga kabos, mga binilanggo, mga buta, mga nilutos ug sa tanan nga may panginahanglan. Si Santa Teresa sa Avila nagpahinumdum kanato nga ang Ginoo naglaum kanato: “Si Kristo, sa kalibotan karon wala nay lawas kondili ang imoha, wala nay kamot kondili ang imoha. Imoha ang mga mata nga iyang gamiton sa pagtan-aw sa kalibotan uban sa kalooy. Imoha ang mga tiil nga iyang gamiton sa paglakaw ug pagbuhat og maayo.” Ang mga Kristiyano diay adunay misyon sa pagdala sa gugma ni Kristo ngadto sa matag tawo nga ilang ikahinagbo ug ikaila karong higayona. Posted by Abet Uy


Reflection for August 31, Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 4:16-30

Reflection: Acceptance of somebody who achieved something is sometimes hard to accept for many of us. Most especially if we know the person and his/her background pretty well. We sometimes are unbelieving and scornful of them.

This behavior of non-acceptance happened also to Jesus when He went back to Nazareth, the town where he grew-up. Jesus’ town mates did not accept Him even if it was very obvious that he was very exceptional.

Their hearts were hardened already for Jesus. The worst part is they even tried to kill him. This is human behavior at its worst! But why is it that we can’t accept? There’s no other reason but pride, envy and arrogance.

Our pride, envy and arrogance will not bring us any good. It will only hasten our downfall! If we allow these negative emotions to rule our hearts no good will happen to us except self-destruction. – Marino J. Dasmarinas


“AS WAS HIS HABIT…” – Nazareth was an extremely small place during the time of Jesus. Not more than 250 to 300 people lived there. Everybody knew everyone, so gossip must have been a common pastime. Everybody knew Mary and Joseph. The rumor that Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus had not died down even after more than 20 years. We know how rumors can destroy the reputation of a person. The people in Nazareth probably would have accepted Jesus if He had worked some spectacular miracles there as He had done in other places. But He did not. Jesus did not do things to please the people and to be praised. He always stood up for the truth. This makes us think about ourselves and the way we act and speak in our communities.

A second point is interesting. St. Luke tells us that Jesus went to the synagogue “as was his habit.” We know that Jesus did not agree with all that went on and was taught in the synagogues. He often violated the rules observed there, such as when He healed on a Sabbath inside a synagogue. And yet, He went “as was His habit.”

I have met several Catholics who told me that they don’t go to church anymore. Some do not like what the Church is teaching; others find the church too noisy and would rather watch the Sunday Mass on TV (note that by watching the TV Mass, they have not fulfilled their Sunday obligation). They give many reasons for not going to church, but are they valid?

The very fact that Jesus went to the synagogue, “as was His habit,” shows that Jesus looked beyond what He could not agree with. He saw that the synagogue service is, first of all, a meeting of the people of God. Then the Word of God is proclaimed and explained there. It is a time of prayer and of uniting as a community with God.

That is what happens when we celebrate the Eucharist — no, even more, because Christ Himself is always present. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Does something keep you from going to church? Do you realize that Christ is always present there in spite of distractions?

Lord, I often feel distracted when going to church and I am tempted to pray alone at home in peace. Let not other things keep me away from You.


August 31, 2015

Monday of the 22nd Week in the Ordinary Time B

1 Thes 4: 13-18,  Lk 4: 16-30

The Mission of Jesus and Ours Too

In today’s Gospel we have one of the most talked about passages of the ministry of Jesus. At the beginning of his public ministry Jesus sets out the gist of his mission quoting from the Prophet Isaiah. This passage is called the ‘magnacarta’ of the ministry of Jesus.

The passage is set up in the outline of a traditional first century synagogue service. That usually included readings from the Torah followed by a reading from the Prophets, then benediction and a conclusion by the overseer of the synagogue. If a Rabbi was present he would give a sermon after the reading of the Scriptures. Jesus giving the sermon indicates the status he got as a ‘rabbi’. Elsewhere too we see people addressing him as rabbi and teacher. Also, scholars say that, this passage is the first extensively narrated act of Jesus’ public ministry in Luke. The passage presents Jesus as the one who is filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of the Heavenly Father.

Four groups of people get special mention in the passage: “the poor”, “the imprisoned”, “the blind”, and “the down trodden’. It is interesting to note that the introductory sermon that Jesus gave at the inauguration of his public ministry that too, in his home town, mentions nothing about the religious renewal or spiritual awakening. The stress is on “liberation”.

After the centuries long foreign oppression most of the common men of Israel were literally poor. The oppressive foreign yoke had made them debtors and since they could not pay the debt back they were pushed to the prisons. “The blind” were one group that caught special attention in Jesus’ ministry. There were several instances where Jesus healed the blind. The reference could be to physical blindness as well as spiritual blindness. “The oppressed and the downtrodden” was the clearest terms the common folk of Jesus’ times could identify themselves with.

In a single sentence Jesus gives them the consolation: “In your hearing this prophecy is fulfilled.” The new day of freedom is dawned upon the people of God. The messiah has arrived. There will be no more oppression, blindness, imprisonment and poverty. The poor will be enjoying sumptuous meal, the oppressed and the imprisoned will be set free and they will begin to see again the glory and beauty of the Kingdom of God.

The passage speaks in clear terms about our connection to the poor, the marginalized, the battered, the oppressed and the downtrodden. This is the core of the mission of Jesus. That should be ours too.  The challenge before us is to take up the mission of Jesus in our times. Are we ready for that? It is not for any future times. It is to be actualized today and this time. One simple question will be enough to measure our level of commitment: Are we able to find the poor and the oppressed in our offices, in our campuses, in our work places, in our neighborhood and perhaps in our own families and communities? That is a big question. Dr Martin Mallathu CMI


Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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