|Posted by Xavier Thelakkatt on January 29, 2016 at 11:15 PM|
It was a suburb of Dublin and the three of us wandered through the posh golf course to walk into the Club House hoping to get a snack or sandwich. At the entrance we were gently reminded that we had to follow the club rules by wearing a suit and tie for the meal. It was an exclusive club and that made a lot of sense, so we had to look for snacks elsewhere. Such a club approach can creep into religious groups as well, making God somewhat a club deity. The Jewish religion of Jesus’ time had some such tendencies. According to popular religion, non-Jews were enemies to be shunned, pagans and idolaters created to be fuel for hell fire. Israelites were the chosen people.
The synagogue worshippers of Nazareth had a problem that day. One of their own, Jesus the son of Mary had the “strange” idea that the gentiles were loved by God. The elders tried to argue with him attempting to put some “sense” into his head, but he would quote from Scriptures the examples of the widow of Zerephath and Naaman the Syrian. An enraged group of enthusiasts tried to throw him down from the cliff and kill him along with his ideas, but luckily he walked away with his life. Isn’t this Scripture “fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk 4:21)?
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Jer 1:4-5, 17-19; 1Cor 12:31-13:13; Lk 4:21-30