Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.380 -+450) Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church
Book of Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34b-37, Psalm 81:3-6, 10-11, &
The Gospel narrative today centers on Jesus returning to His hometown of Nazareth. There, the people recognize Him as the son of the carpenter, whose mother, Mary, and whose brothers and sisters were known to them. He is one of their own, a working man just like them. Yet, in ways, He is not like them. The Nazarenes were astonished at His wisdom and miraculous powers—He mystified them.
There are places in the Gospels where we better understand the human touches of the divine Jesus. Both fully human and fully divine, He embodies the ordinary and extraordinary. When we suffer great pain, we cry. Jesus, too, cried when he hurt. When his cousin and friend Lazarus died, we read that Jesus wept (John 11:35-36). Jesus grieved before entering Jerusalem for the last time because He knew they would not accept him as the Messiah and that the city would be destroyed (Luke 19:41-44). The hypostatic union of Jesus embodies human nature and the wisdom and power of God within Him. Saint John expressed it perfectly when he said that 'the Word became flesh' at the beginning of his Gospel. Indeed, He was "flesh" like us; however, the man they knew revealed God's abundance to us in an unprecedented way.
Friends, the Son of the carpenter, the Son of Mary is with us today as our Risen Lord, both ordinary and extraordinary. He said to His disciples, "Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me," "whoever welcomes a child in my name welcomes me," and "as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me." Excellent words of advice given to His disciples—and each of us.
Question of the Day: How will you become an extraordinary disciple for Jesus?
Prayer: "Sing with joy to God our help." (Psalm 81:(2a))