4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
‘Make it our glory to praise you!’
Grant us, Lord our God,
that we may honour you with all our mind,
and love everyone in truth of heart.
Today’s First Reading takes place in 627 BC. Jeremiah, a shy and gentle teenager, is called, against his better wishes, to proclaim a message contrary to the expectations of those around him. As a result, his life will have more than its fair share of rejection and failure.
The liturgy connects Jesus with this rejected prophet figure of Jeremiah. Jesus, having read from the prophet Isaiah (last Sunday’s Gospel), is met with hostility in his home synagogue. His own people, knowing him merely as Joseph’s son, cannot accept the challenge to respond to his message. Jesus’s rejection at Nazareth is found in each of the Synoptic Gospels.
In the early church community based at Corinth (Second Reading) there were disagreements about which charism was best. St Paul offers a way above all others – the way of love. It is the greatest of God’s gifts and the one that endures.
Today’s Psalm is a song of hope and trust. The prophets of the Lord do not travel alone, but in the face of rejection, persecution and even death, they are delivered and saved.
This week, I pray for the hope and trust that allows me to go forward with confidence, even in the face of misunderstanding and rejection.