Have you ever felt between a rock and a hard place? Have you been forced to choose one side or the other? Were you ever pressed between the cliff and the crowd? Jesus recognized pressure—he lived it. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus proclaims the scriptures in Nazareth and announces, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” At first, Jesus amazed the hometown crew, who then quickly turned on Him and were “filled with furry.”
“Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, which consisted of men, women, and those children old enough to understand.” “Those children old enough to understand.” Let those words sink in: “those children old enough to understand.”
She had never met the little girl who lived on the next block, but her mother insisted on a play date since they both were ten-years-old. Her mother then strongly suggested she visit on her own, perhaps weekly or every few days. Soon the girl began to understand that her new friend, Ellen, was sick. After many wonderful times of playing, reading to her friend, or just holding her hand, Ellen died of leukemia. Her persistent mother saw a need and called forth her daughter to meet it. The experience formed this little girl, who would grow up and serve as a hospice nurse.
At the end of a phone call with one of our children, I always hear my husband say, “God bless, bud.” “God bless, honey.” or the family favorite, “God bless, dude!” Throughout their lives, Mike has blessed our children before tucking them into bed, sending them out the door, or concluding a telephone conversation. They have known his blessing. He has never given or withheld his blessing based on behavior or performance. He blesses because they are our beloved children and their presence brings us great pleasure.
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.