17th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jer 26:1–9
At the beginning of the reign of Judah’s king Jehoiakim son of Josiah, the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah: Yahweh says this, “Stand in the courtyard of Yahweh’s House and say to all who come from the towns of Judah to worship in Yahweh’s house—all that I command you to say; do not omit anything! Perhaps they will listen to you. Perhaps each one will turn from his wicked ways. Then I will change my mind and forget the destruction that I have planned to inflict on them because of their wicked deeds.
Tell them: This is what Yahweh says:
“You have not obeyed me and you have failed to walk according to my Law which I have set before you. You have not heeded my servants, the prophets, whom I have persistently sent to you. If you stubbornly close your ears to them, I will treat this House of mine as I treated the sanctuary of Shiloh and let all the nations see that Jerusalem is a cursed city.”
The priests, the prophets and all the people heard what Jeremiah said in Yahweh’s House. When Jeremiah finished saying all that Yahweh had commanded, he was besieged by the priests and prophets saying, “You are bound to die! How dare you speak in Yahweh’s Name telling us that this House will be treated like Shiloh and this city is to become a deserted ruin.” And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the House of Yahweh.
Gospel: Matthew 13:54-58
Jesus went to his hometown and taught the people in their synagogue. They were amazed and said, “Where did he get this wisdom and these special powers? Isn’t he the carpenter’s son? Isn’t Mary his mother and aren’t James, Joseph, Simon and Judas his brothers? Aren’t all his sisters living here? How did he get all this?” And so they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them, “The only place where prophets are not welcome is their hometown and in their own family.” And he did not perform many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
In our homes especially (like Nazareth), we have the subtle power of preventing miracles. We do not believe enough in one another, for a start. Or rather we believe a lot of negative small-minded things; we remember every mistake the others ever made; in knowing one another too well we may not know one another at all. And then we do not believe enough in Christ’s liberating power.
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