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Familiarity vs Faith

Above the door of the synagogue there should have been a sign that read "Hometown Boy Returns: Show at Noon." Jesus had been working miracles and word had gotten back to his hometown. The people in the synagogue must have been excited and full of anticipation. That is probably why Jesus was asked to read from the scroll even though He is "the son of Joseph", the carpenter.

Jesus read the scripture and told the crowd that "today, this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." There must have been quite a murmur go through the synagogue. Men must have been elbowing each other saying, "this is going to be good" or "watch this." They waited in anticipation for Jesus to work some small miracle. Their heads must have been filled with ideas about what they would like to see Jesus do. Herod acted the same way.

However, they are disappointed. Jesus knows what they are thinking. He knows they are expecting a show or perhaps some "proof." He quickly tells them that they will not get any proof or any sign. He knows that they are not filled with faith but only a crowd of men looking at Him as though He were some sort of circus performer. They feel entitled to a show of some sort since they know Him, they grew up with Him, they know His family. Jesus does not give them what they ha
d expected. He then accuses them of their folly by pointing to prophets of old who were not accepted by their "own people."

The guilt is too much for them to bear so they usher Him out of the synagogue and drag Him to the edge of a cliff. I don't know how He escaped but I often like to think of the scene in The Passion of The Christ when Jesus is confronted in the Garden. The entire scene is played out in surreal slow motion. I like to image the crowd gathered around Jesus at the edge of the cliff and then suddenly all is nearly frozen. Jesus quietly and slowly walks back toward the town passing each person and looking deep into their souls.

This scene could also be seen as yet another temptation of the devil who had just recently tempted Jesus three times in the desert. Here he could be in this crowd twisting their minds against Jesus and asking for a sign to show who He is, "if you are the son of God...."

Lord Jesus, give me faith. Help me to stay with You even though I may never see great signs and wonders in this life. Do not allow me to be tempted to put You to the test by asking for signs. Give me faith for You came to me to bring me glad tidings, give me liberty, give me my sight, and set me free.

- "We have close to us as much as Joseph had at Nazareth; we have our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but our poor eyes fail to see Him. Let us once become interior souls and we shall immediately see. In no better way can we enter into the Heart of our Lord than through Saint Joseph. Jesus and Mary are eager to pay the debts which they owe him for his devoted care of them, and their greatest pleasure is to fulfill his least desire. Let him, then, lead you by hand into the interior sanctuary of Jesus Eucharistic." - St. Peter Julian Eymard


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