Introducing Today’s Lessons
From the opening lesson we hear the story of the calling of Jeremiah to be a prophet of the Lord.Jeremiah protests that he is inadequate to the task, but the Lord promises to be with him. He has been chosen to prophesy destruction and exile for Judah. Yet he will also help his people find a faith which can survive without city and sanctuary until they are one day brought back to Jerusalem.
A prayer that God will continue to be one’s refuge and stronghold.
In this epistle lesson Paul continues his discussion of spiritual gifts by placing them all within the context of the greatest gift of love.Unless the members of the church are anchored in the love of God found in Christ, all other gifts and expressions of the Holy Spirit are without value. The love of God is both the source and end of all spiritual gifts. Faith and hope, too, are chief among the gifts, but the measure of all things is love.
In our gospel we hear how Jesus encounters opposition in the synagogue of his own town of Nazareth.The congregation admires his words, but is also perplexed because they know his human origins. Jesus recognizes that people are unlikely to expect a prophet from among their own, and he reminds them how Elijah and Elisha did certain of their miracles for non-Jews. These illustrations (which point to the later ministry of Christianity to the Gentiles) deeply disturb the congregation, and Jesus is forced to leave for Capernaum to continue his ministry.