Daily Reflection
September 4th, 2000
Maureen McCann Waldron
The Collaborative Ministry Office
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

First Corinthians 2:1-5
Psalms 119:97-102
Luke 4:16-30

“Is this not Joseph’s son?”

In today’s gospel we see Jesus facing one of his toughest audiences: the people from his hometown who knew him the best.  He revisits his boyhood synagogue and reads from scripture, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me…he has anointed me…sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor…recovery of sight to the blind” and other astonishing news. 

They are impressed and then instantly doubtful: “Is this not Joseph’s son?” they mutter to each other.  “Surely this kid we know so well, the son of our town carpenter can’t really have a message for us from God!” 

We can pity those people in the synagogue for being so obtuse, but then we can look at our own lives.  How often are we the ones in the audience, muttering our own doubts?  We are told that God's spirit is present in us and those around us.  But we know that can’t be true and instead turn our full attention to those nagging voices muttering inside us, reminding us of our flaws, our imperfections. 

Our greatest temptation in life might be to doubt that God can be found in our midst and that God is right here, standing in the middle of our lives.  We, who are so acutely aware of our own flaws, might doubt our value and that of those around us.  We feel undeserving of God’s love, and so we ignore all of the places and people in our lives where God’s love is being proclaimed to us. 

In how many places, with how many people and before how many challenges in my life do I close my eyes to the presence of God and say, “This is just Joseph’s son?” 

“Surely God cannot be found here in MY weakness and fears?” we scoff knowingly.  But that’s exactly where God is found.  It is only when we truly believe that God loves us just as we are, as imperfectly as we have become because of a thousand choices we have made, that we can recognize his presence in ourselves and others.  It is in the heart of our everyday lives that we find the spirit of the Lord in our own imperfect marriages, in aging parents, in our troubled children or demanding co-workers. 

Today Jesus invites us to look around and stop seeing ourselves and others through our blinding fears.  If we allow our hearts to be transformed we will see the spirit of the Lord upon each person in our lives.  It is then that we will find the intimacy with Jesus we long for so deeply and we will have been healed, once again, of our blindness. 

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Online Ministries
Home Page
for Sunday
Online Retreat
Daily Readings Texts
from the
New American Bible
Daily Readings Texts
from the
RSV Bible
Spirituality Links
Saint of the Day
Collaborative Ministry Office 
Home Page
University Ministry
Home Page
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook