The Sunday Gospel
Fr Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap.
Local begrudgery is a problem that is not confined to Ireland. Today’s three readings tell how Ezekiel, St Paul and Jesus had to face it. So, if you feel that you are being under appreciated, that you are being undervalued, then you are in very good company. Negative tendencies to be a knocker must be replaced by positive efforts to appreciate others. And express your appreciation. Don’t wait for the funeral for the eulogy. Send me the flowers while I can smell them.
Jesus’ hometown, Nazareth, was never even mentioned in the Old Testament. Herod the Great undertook a massive building project in nearby Sepphoris and Nazareth became a migrant workers’ town. What a surprising choice as the hometown of the Messiah! And who would have anticipated that the Son of God would serve his time at a carpenter’s bench? Why be surprised then if God wants to set up home in my unworthy life? God does have a sense of humour.
St Paul’s insight in the second reading is profound. There were people in Corinth finding fault with his preaching. Three times he pleaded with the Lord: “Lord, take away my problem.” But God answered, “Sorry, Paul, but you will have to live with this one. However, my grace is enough for you; my power is at its best in weakness.” What an extraordinary insight, that God’s power might be seen more in our weakness than in our talents. Paul took it as a lesson that God saw the need to puncture his pride. My weakness makes me more humble; and then there is more space for God’s grace to operate. God may not remove the problem, but will grant the power to cope, even to grow stronger through it.
Silvester O’Flynn has recently published Gospel Reflections and Prayers with Columba Books.