God’s Grace for All – Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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This Sunday’s gospel account from Luke is a continuation of last week’s scene in the synagogue in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth. Jesus, at the beginning of his public ministry, has just finished reading the prophecy of the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah and has claimed that He is the fulfillment of that prophecy. It would be difficult to over-emphasize the significance of this proclamation.

Luke is setting the stage for the rest of Jesus’ ministry which is characterized by his work of teaching, its regular setting in the synagogue, the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit within Him, and the extent of his ministry to bring salvation to ALL people.

The tension in the synagogue is palpable as all eyes “were fixed on him” (4:20). Initially pleased that one of their own is God’s chosen prophet, the people become angry as Jesus continues. The Messiah they anticipated was meant to restore the greatness of Israel, an exclusive covenant God made with them. However, in anticipation of their rejection of Him, Jesus is recalling historical instances by which God’s grace was also extended to people outside that covenant.

This account is a reminder to us that God’s abundant grace extends to all who are open to it and is never subject to human limitations or boundaries of nation or race. While He may choose humans as instruments of His grace to others, we are not free to set limits on who may receive that grace nor should we be resentful of God’s good work through other people. Pray that we may be open to the working of God’s grace in ourselves and in gratitude for those graces in others.

by Danette Morris, Adult Faith Formation Coordinator

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