Is your relationship with Jesus static or changing?
By Mons. Peter Jeffrey:
We know more about Jeremiah, the prophet, as an individual than we know about any of the other prophets. He stands out as a lonely, tragic figure, whose mission seemed to have failed utterly. Yet, that seeming ‘failure’ was his triumph. More than any of the other prophets, he felt the burden of his call and mission. It led to feeling alone and abandoned. Jeremiah is the supreme example – until Jesus – of the ‘triumph of failure’!
We seek to live and to give witness to our faith in a sometimes hostile but more often an indifferent environment so Jeremiah is a great model for us.
God tells Jeremiah “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you”. I am not suggesting that anyone of us has to go off to far away nations; but I do mean, through our reflection and prayer, we need to discover our own unique self. So often people spend so much energy trying to be somebody “other” than who they really are. St. Augustine eventually discovered this and he was able to say “Our hearts are meant for thee O God and they will not rest until they rest in Thee”.
What I am leading up to is this – God has created each one of us with “intentionality” and with gifts to use for the building up of the Kingdom of God.
We only have to reflect on our own experience to realise this will not always be easy. In today’s Gospel passage we Jesus at the beginning of the work for which He has been dedicated. Already He is facing resistance and violence. When He is taken to the brow of the hill, it almost foreshadows there right at the beginning of His public ministry, His later journey to Calvary.
The difference between this scene at the beginning of His ministry, and the later one, when He is on the way to Calvary is that time He does not pass through the crowd but submits to it. He gives His life for us.
In all that He does for us, at every stage of His life’s journey, Jesus is revealing His passionate LOVE for you and me. We see in Jesus the love that St. Paul talks about in his letter to the Corinthians. “Love delights in the truth – it is always ready to excuse, to rust, to hope and to endure whatever comes” etc.
The author Mark Twain once said “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It is what we know for sure that just ain’t so”. Our brains are “wired” to be comfortable with the familiar.
This applies too in our faith life. Like the people of Nazareth, we might feel that we know Jesus. His words may not sound radical to us. As disciples of Jesus, we need to be continually open to Jesus. He is the prophet who would like to be continually showing us something new!
This is personally challenging – is my love relationship with Jesus something static or is it living, growing and changing? Ponder this during this Mass – is your love relationship with Jesus static or living, growing and changing?
*Mons' homily of the Fourth Sunday of Year C