Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Call to worship
The hometown friends and neighbors of Jesus rejected him because he opened his ministry to those who were outcast by society. Being a follower of Christ means that we must be always be open and welcoming.
- To the point: Jesus used “gracious words” to the people of Nazareth about bringing glad tidings of freedom for captives and the oppressed, sight for the blind. Hearing these words challenges the people to do what they hear, (“fulfilled today”) and for this, they reject Jesus and want to destroy him. Yet God, whose word Jesus speaks, delivers him (“through the midst of them”). Eventually, enemies do destroy Jesus on the cross. But do they?
- Connecting the Gospel (Luke 4:21-30) to the first reading: Nehemiah provides details that assure the people the words proclaimed by Ezra were, indeed, the words of God. As Jesus proclaimed glad tidings “in the power of the Spirit,” so must our proclamation of the Good News come from the Spirit who dwells within us. The details of our daily living must assure others that the words we proclaim are, indeed, from God.
- Connecting the Gospel to experience: We are all familiar with the power of words to shape our identity and way of life. Society offers conflicting messages that often pull us in many directions. In the midst of all these competing words, God’s word is the true source of our identity as Christian people.
(Luke 4: 21-30)
They led him to the brow of the hill to hurl him down headlong.
But Jesus passed through the midst of them.
At times you speak words that are so unlike the ones we know,
or you tell us to love people in places that we shudder to think about.
Help us to master our smugness, throw off our desire for security,
and delight in the new and mysterious.
Let us be your prophets with wide open arms.
The First Reading
(Jeremiah 1: 4-5, 17-19)
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.
Father, you knew us in our mothers’ womb.
Before we were ever born you loved us.
We cling to the pledge you made to Jeremiah,
to Jesus and to each of us.
“Whatever you do, I will be there with you.”
The Second Reading
(1 Corinthians 12: 31-13:13)
But I shall show you a still more excellent way.
I can prophesy, know all things, speak as an angel,
comprehend mysteries, hand over everything I own,
overturn mountains with my faith.
But if I have no love I am nothing at all.
Holy Spirit, whatever we do, let us do it within your love.
Copyright © 2022, Anne M. Osdieck
Music for reflection