Hometown Boy Returns: Show at Noon

Posted by James Hahn on

Monday September 2nd - Labor Day (USA)

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 had 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.

How often have I skipped over reading the Gospel because I think I "know" it already, having heard it many times? How often do I neglect prayer because I'm saying the same things and Jesus already "knows" what I would say anyway?  We can never fully "know" God as we think we might.  That is part of the fun, beauty, and adventure of a life of faith.  Let us, from this moment forward, never presume to "know" God.  In other words, never let us assume that our relationship is complete, stale, or comfortable.  Rather, let us live as new lovers always seeking to be with and hear from our beloved.  Let us live in joyful anticipation of being surprised by His love, gestures, and whispers.

“A humble soul does not trust itself, but places all its confidence in God.”St. Faustina

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How to get better at prayer.
  1. Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
  2. Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go.  Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
  3. Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days.  Mark off the days on your calendar.  If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
  4. Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him.  I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development.  God is the same way.  Spend time praying as best you can.  Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation.  Don't forget to listen
  5. Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life.  It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
  6. Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer PrimerDeep Conversion, Deep PrayerTime for GodThe Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation.
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