Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19; Psalms 71:1-6,15-17; I Corinthians 12:31-13:13; Luke 4:21-30
The social activist Julia Ward Howe once asked Senator Charles Sumner to use his influence to intercede for a constituent who desperately needed help. The Senator responded, “Julia, these days I’ve become so busy and involved in so many different things that I no longer have time to direct my attention to the concerns of individuals.”
Julia replied, “Senator, that is quite remarkable! Even God hasn’t reached that stage yet!”
In that Senator’s view, he is a member of a chosen elite. In today’s Gospel Lesson, Jesus is preaching in the Synagogue to members of a congregation who saw themselves in the same elitist way.
Jesus is preaching in Nazareth, the town where He had been raised. At first, Jesus’ words were well-received. “He won the approval of all,” Luke tells us, “and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from His lips” (Lk. 4:22). But Jesus, sensing the hostility that was to come, said, “I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever…