Borgund Stave Church, Lærdalen municipality,
Built between 1180-1250,
Sogn og Fjordane,
Norway
© Christian Art / Alamy

 

Borgund Stave Church, Lærdalen municipality,
Built between 1180-1250,
Sogn og Fjordane,
Norway
© Christian Art / Alamy

 

Gospel of 21 March 2022

When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged

Luke 4:24-30

Jesus came to Nazara and spoke to the people in the synagogue: ‘I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.

‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land, but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town. And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian, Naaman.’

When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.

Reflection on the Parish Church

In today’s reading we hear Jesus talk to the the people of Nazareth. They reacted in anger at what He was telling them.  Jesus was implying that the God of Israel cared just as much about the people beyond Israel as He did about the people of Israel itself. It wasn’t something they wanted to hear. They had their own comfortable view of who God was and how they were the chosen people, above all others. The people of Nazareth had a narrow view of God, thinking He would always favour Israel. They were outraged when Jesus told them that God's concern extends far beyond the parochial boundaries. God is there for everyone, not favouring anyone. He treats us all the same. 

In a way, this is what Pope Francis is asking of us, too, as part of the synodal process. We live in our parishes and are actively involved in them, but he prompts us to think beyond mere parochialism. Parochialism is a narrow way of thinking, whereby one focuses on small sections of an issue rather than considering its wider context. The synodal process is to take us beyond our parishes, enabling us to think of the Church at large. Whatever we do on a local level has to be also a participation in the Church on a universal level. 

The universality of our Christian faith is somewhat demonstrated in the photograph of the Borgund Stave Church, Norway. Build sometime between 1180 and 1250 AD , this brown wooden church was until 1868 a parish church in the Diocese of Bjørvin. Its walls are formed by vertical wooden boards, or staves, hence the name ‘stave church’. The church is now a Museum run by the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments. 

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  • Clare Kent says:

    Love your daily reflections and read regularly but am finding the new format with white writing on dark background more of an effort to read so am not so drawn to do so quite so much sadly.

    • ChristiCAN says:

      Thank you so much for your comment Clare.
      When you are viewing the readings, look to the right of your screen and you will see a small icon of a person in a circle. When you click on it, you will receive a menu where you can choose “light background” and that will change the background color for you. I hope this works to improve your reading experience. Let us know if you have any trouble with the button. It is not available on mobile but is on the desktop version of the site.

  • Roberto Damas says:

    Excelente imagen, el dato y la relfexión muy atinada. Un abrazo desde El Salvador, tierra de Santos y mártires: Oscar Romero, Rutilio Grande, Nelson Rutilio, Manuel Solórzano y fray Cosme Spessoto.

  • Pam Carpenter says:

    Good morning. This morning I used the read more button on the email and all was well until I hit the leave comment or read yesterdays gospel and then the pictures enlarged and covered the text again.

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