Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Last Sunday we meditated on the first part of Jesus’ startling sermon on Isaiah 61 in the synagogue at Nazareth. Today we meditate on the second part. The people are astonished and perplexed because they know Jesus and his family. Then comes the rejecting proverb, Physician heal thyself! It is found only here. In the face of such a reaction, coupled with the attempt to hurl him from the cliff that concludes the passage, is it any wonder Jesus calls attention to the miracles for Gentiles performed by Elijah and Elisha? Can you hear the living echoes of Jeremiah’s universal call? What about Luke’s insistence that Jesus was conceived, anointed, filled and sealed by the Spirit? The core of the message is simplicity itself: because of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah, the Gospel goes forth to the Gentile world. How are we to understand the consequences for an Ireland that in its turn joins that wave of rejection? Are we open to the Spirit or to the desires of the world?