17th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday, Year II

Today’s readings remind us that when it comes to distinguishing between the messenger and the message the important thing is to focus on the message. It doesn’t matter what state the envelope is in when you start opening it; what matters is the message.

In today’s First Reading, when Jeremiah brings the message of the Lord to the people of Israel, they questioned the “envelope.” They questioned the messenger when what they really should have been doing was focusing on the message. In today’s Gospel we see that as well, because Our Lord comes to his hometown to his synagogue and they’re so stuck on it being Jesus, whom they’ve known for years, that they’re not paying attention to the message that he is trying to share with them.

The question that we should really ask is whether the message is true and, in the case of the things of God, even more importantly, whether the message comes from God. The way that we know that something comes from God is the faith, just as Our Lord mentioned in today’s Gospel. The people in his hometown lacked that faith. The faith helps the word of God when we hear it resonate within our hearts. The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, talks about all the faithful having sort of a sixth sense when it comes to the things of faith and morals (n.12) and with the sixth sense it helps them to recognize something is coming from the Lord.

Let’s ask our Lord today to help us recognize his voice in the people that we meet and share his Word and message with others.

Readings: Leviticus 23:1, 4–11, 15–16, 27, 34b–37; Psalm 81:3–6, 10–11b; Matthew 13:54–58. See also 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B and 17th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday.