Fr Albert’s February 3rd Letter
Greetings in Christ,
While inside the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus read the scroll of Isaiah 61. The first reaction of the people was to speak highly of him. But the last portion of the Gospel describes the reaction of the people to what Jesus said about himself being the Messiah. This time Jesus was ready to receive Nazareth’s negative response, for they said “That cannot be. He is Joseph’s son. Everyone knows Jesus and his family. He is just one of us folks, like everyone else.” Their demand was “Take care of your own people first! Why should Jesus heal the gentiles and the Jews of Capernaum while there are many Jews needing help in his own hometown?”
The response of Jesus is like Isaiah referring to the Old Testament at the time of Elijah and Elisha. During a severe famine, Elijah was sent to a poor gentile widow in Zarepath. Elisha was sent by God to heal Naaman, the gentile leper, even though there were many Jewish lepers there. Luke, in telling the story of Nazareth, emphasizes the important theme of universalism. Jesus will fulfill the expectation that God sets forth in the Old Testament, but not necessarily the way the people desire and even expect. God cares equally for the gentiles, as Jesus is sent to save people of all nations. Jesus is Lord of all, not only for the few who claim Him to be their own.
Jesus is the reason for our unity here at Holy Family Parish!
Fr. Albert B. Becher