Thursday after Epiphany – Year B

Posté par diaconos le 7 janvier 2021

Today this passage of Scripture is fulfilled

jeudi après l'Epiphanie, — Année B dans comportements Médecin-Guéris-Toi-Toi-Même-300x225

From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke

At that time, when Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, his fame spread throughout the region. He taught in the synagogues, and everyone praised him. He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. As was his custom, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and got up to read.

He was given the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened the book and found the passage where it is written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the Good News to the poor, to proclaim to the captives their release and to the blind that they shall see again, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim a favourable year granted by the Lord.

Jesus closed the book, gave it back to the servant and sat down. Everyone in the synagogue had their eyes fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, « Today this passage of Scripture which you have just heard is fulfilled. « And they all testified to him and marvelled at the words of grace that came out of his mouth. (Lk 4, 14-22a)

Physician, heal yourself

A favourable testimony given by all to Jesus, following what they heard ; an astonishment, of this divine grace that he announced to them and which breathed in all his words ; and, on the other hand, a question which implied doubt, mistrust, and which meant: What ?

This divine work for the deliverance of all that suffers in our humanity would be accomplished by this young man whom we saw growing up in our midst, this son of the carpenter Joseph, whose family we all know ! Reflection and criticism, following a favourable but superficial first impression, produced different dispositions that went as far as unbelief, even fury : « How can you believe, you who draw your glory from one another, and do not seek the glory that comes from God alone ? (Jn 5, 44)

The interpreters, who did not admire such a turnaround in the feelings of the people, assumed that the people were divided into two parties, one of which experienced the impressions first described, while the other expressed its doubts about Joseph’s son.

Jesus thought that his fellow citizens would apply to him the proverb : « Physician, heal thyself. » because, until then, he had exercised his ministry outside Nazareth, which was to have the first rights there : « Heal thyself and yourselves, before exercising your power far away« . They alluded to the miracles performed in Capernaum. Perhaps there was even an ironic doubt in their minds in this regard.

The exegetes who believed that the proverb « Physician, heal thyself » was applied to Jesus himself, explained the thoughts of his listeners as follows : « If you want us to believe in you and in the mission that you attribute to yourself, first come out of the darkness in which we have always seen you, show us the authority and power that you claim, coming out of the humble condition in which we see you ».

It was a way of asking him for miracles. But Jesus, when he was thus admonished, did not perform any; for where his words met with unbelief, his miracles did not create faith. This is what the Gospel expressly tells us about another visit of Jesus to Nazareth : « And he did not perform many miracles there because of unbelief. (Mt 13, 58)

No one had more difficulty recognising God’s gifts in a man than those who live familiarly with him. What is before our eyes prevents us from seeing spiritual things: « And they said, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose  father and mother we know ? How then does he say, : « I have come down from heaven ?  » (Jn 6, 42)

Deacon Michel Houyoux

                       Links to other Christian websites

◊   Bible Teaching : click here to read the paper →   Physician heal thyself

◊ St Juliana Catholic church   : click here to read the paper → Thursday after Epiphany – St. Juliana Catholic Church

Physician, Heal Yourself

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