Monday, August 31, 2009

Following the trail

Sometimes when I am reflecting on the Gospel of the day, my brain goes into concordance mode, sending me from one passage to another, creating a kind of "connect the dots" meditation. That's what happened with today's fabulous reading (Luke's account of Jesus "claiming" his messianic role): "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
Luke tells us the people's response as Jesus developed his homily: "They were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth." That brings to mind Luke 6:45 ("From the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks"). Which led me to the prologue of John, "Of his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." Which leads to John's own conclusion (and a very apt "sum-up" of today's Gospel): "No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known."
So that little crowd in the Nazareth synagogue were amazed by the "fullness of grace and truth" that came from the Word himself, as he made God known to them in the Scriptures and in himself.
What if the attendant had handed Jesus a different scroll? Would the Scriptures not have been fulfilled in their hearing that day? Given the unity of revelation (inspired by the one Holy Spirit), Jesus would have been able to pick up any passage and begun his homily in the same way, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."

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