Monday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

I have always been fascinated by and drawn to the gospel reading for today. Every time I make a retreat, I gravitate towards that passage in Luke where he describes Jesus’ early rejection. I never stop being baffled at the congregation’s reaction to Jesus. Who wouldn’t want someone to proclaim that the lame will now walk, the blind will now see, and the long-promised Messiah has come? And yet the crowd does not just act with skepticism. They act with violence against Jesus.

Ultimately, He was not what they expected. He wasn’t even really what they wanted. They wanted a political leader, and they expected it to be someone a little more dazzling and unfamiliar than the carpenter’s son from next door. And so they tried to throw Jesus off a cliff. This passage should challenge us. Sometimes, we are the persecuted prophet. But usually, we are just the crowd. Today it is worth asking: what are my expectations of Jesus? What do I think His actions and teaching are? If He challenges my expectations, how will I respond?

September 2nd, 2013