Open Wednesday Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, C February 3
Have you ever been surprised by the accomplishments of someone?
The people who saw Jesus grow up were surprised at His teaching and works!
In the Gospel you will hear that when Jesus returned to Nazareth for the first time since His baptism, His reputation for miracles preceded Him. Those who heard Jesus speak approved His teaching, even while expressing surprise that the boy they saw grow up was working miracles. When they asked for miracles, Jesus responded with stories of God favoring unlikely people. When Jesus implied that He could do no miracles in His native town because the people were not open to Him, then the people became very angry and drove Jesus out of the synagogue to a cliff, intending to hurl Him over the cliff. But somehow Jesus was able to slip through the crowd and walk away. The Gospel is not clear as to how Jesus managed to escape. You can use your imagination about how Jesus escaped; share your ending to the story with others.
The Gospel continues last Sunday's Gospel. In fact, this Sunday's Gospel begins by repeating the conclusion of last Sunday's Gospel. Remember last week we talked about our being called by God to certain tasks or to mission.
Well, this Sunday we will hear the prophet Jeremiah describe his call by God. Like Jeremiah, God knows each of us before we are conceived and God knows our tasks, or call, in life. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet, and poor Jeremiah suffered much delivering God's word to others. But in the First Reading you will hear God's promise that God will protect Jeremiah.
At this point, turn to the Psalm and imagine God as your "rock" and your "fortress." The psalmist says, "On You I depend from birth; from my mother's womb You are my strength." Young people will also like: "O God, You have taught me from my youth."
Also, last week, do you recall Paul talking about gifts in the Second Reading? Paul continues by saying that LOVE is the greatest gift. Look at the heart on the picture page. Read what is in the heart. Now reread that passage, but substitute your name for "love" and its pronouns. When you reread the passage with your name, how do you measure up?
In other translations, "believes all things" is rendered "trusts." I like that.
Perhaps the Gospel Acclamation sounds familiar. It is from last Sunday's Gospel.
This week, to prepare to hear the Readings, look for the unusual in what seems common. It's like seeing a flower instead of a weed. For readers in the northern hemisphere it is seeing beauty in the shades of winter brown and in the shapes of barren branches. Applying this outlook to people, how we perceive others affects our behavior towards them which, in turn, affects their self-perception and behavior. Discuss the positive and negative implications of living up to others' expectations. Let us relate to others with the greatest love.
Sunday's Readings: Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
1 Corinthians 12:31 - 13:13
Vocabulary note: You will hear that Jesus was speaking in a synagogue. There was only one Temple, and that was in Jerusalem. Houses of worship in other cities are called synagogues.