It is typical for people to love others they know. Our human nature finds it easier to love another person when we know him. That’s why people always strive to get to know another before friendship and love develops. It isn’t the same with our God though, as the Almighty knows each one of us intimately, just like how He knows and tells Jeremiah that even before he was born, he was known by God and has been called to serve Him.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you,
a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” (Jer. 1: 4ff)
Today’s Gospel shares with us how the people approved of Jesus, yet they seem surprised. They still think of Jesus as merely a carpenter’s son, a commoner just like themselves. And their attitude towards Jesus turned on very quickly. They thought that they know Jesus, and thus didn’t expect such words from someone they believe that they know. He had stepped outside of the person they thought they had of him, and more than that, He quoted events to remind them of their indifference to the prophets. The people were all filled with fury that they drove Him out of town, and almost hurled Him down in the brow of the hill. But He passed through and went away. Through this Jesus assures us that He also had difficulties while on mission with the Father’s work. He didn’t waver at all; He persevered till the end. He was completely attuned to God, and knew the Father will not abandon Him.
Similarly, God has also called each one of us to His service as well. He has also given us the spiritual gifts we need to serve Him and build His Church. Spiritual gifts are gifts of grace – as they are meant to strengthen the Church – they enable us to overcome challenges and difficulties. This should assure us that when doing God’s work, we are not alone. Pope Francis often re-assures us that every command that God gave is accompanied by a promise. Always. Yes, God calls us to be loving, and the Scriptures spell out what that love looks like. It’s high standard, yes, but Christ also gifted us with the power to love as He loves, to be patient as He is patient, and to share His kindness with everyone around us.
While doing God’s work here on earth, we may feel inadequate, yet it’s “one of the most encouraging paradoxes of the Christian life: the more inadequate we feel, the more effective we can be.” (National Fellowship of Catholic Men)
Let us therefore take the time to pray and ask God for the grace to know and experience the love of Jesus more deeply, so that we can also share it with others.