Hometown Prophet?

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Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

Matthew 13:54:58

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.

Opening Prayer: Lord, you have given your Church beautiful saints for our edification. Open my heart to listen with “ears to hear” your words today, and never to take offense at them.

Encountering Christ:

  1. Astonishing: Jesus astonished the Jews of his time with his mighty deeds and wisdom. As “other Christs” we are called to follow in his footsteps, but we know that we can only do mighty deeds when his grace works through us. Few accomplished so much for souls as did Saint Ignatius of Loyola. As founder of the Jesuits and author of the Spiritual Exercises, his legacy is truly astonishing, especially to those of us who have had the privilege to do a Spiritual Exercises retreat (or several). St. Ignatius allowed Jesus to work through him and we are called to do the same. Thank you, Lord, for Saint Ignatius.
  2. Where Did He Get It?: Jesus’s hometown friends were baffled by him. He taught with authority. He performed mighty deeds. “Where did this man get all this?” they asked. Jesus dedicated his entire life to revealing the answer to their question. “The Father and I are one” (John 10:30). “If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; and from now on you know him and have seen him” (John 14:7). To the Jews, Jesus was only the carpenter’s son, but we now know he is also the Son of the Father, Triune God with the Spirit. As Our Lord and Savior, Jesus asks one thing of us: to “have faith in God” (Mark 11:22), his Father.
  3. Limiting God?: Jesus did not work many mighty deeds in his hometown because of the people’s lack of faith. Who knows what good they might have witnessed, had they only believed? God cannot be limited, but our experience of him can be when we are disobedient, presumptuous, unbelieving, unforgiving, or ungrateful. Regular confession can help us to “clean house” and welcome Jesus to the home of our hearts with receptivity and faith.

Conversing with Christ: Lord, increase my faith! As I look at the life of Saint Ignatius, I see what one soul accomplished for your Kingdom. Despite my limitations, I believe that when my little sorrows, aches, and pains are joined to your sacrifice on the Cross, your Kingdom grows. Please give me the grace to know your will and the strength to do it. 

Resolution: Lord today by your grace I will fervently say the prayer Saint Ignatius made famous: 

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

For Further Reflection: Learn more about Saint Ignatius here.

Written by Maribeth Harper.

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