Brian Schwartze ’13, ’15 M.Ed

There’s a particular word that captures my attention as I read this passage. Feel free to reread it and try to guess it if you think that would be fun. I’ll even give you a hint: the word is short, less than four letters.

The answer? I love that the gospel uses the phrase, “went according to his custom into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.”

Many aspects of the gospel can seem intimidating and beyond me. As a teacher, I try to identify with Christ the Teacher, but I would not say my lessons are always “praised by all.” Lessons on the quadratic formula, in particular, are much more likely to be met with groans from students. And although I believe the Spirit of the Lord is with each of us, I do not know how well I have proclaimed liberty to captives or brought glad tidings to the poor.

The end of this gospel passage inspires awe and reverence for the divinity of Jesus and the ordered unraveling of God’s plan. But that one word, his, signals something more distinctly human for me.

I wonder about Jesus’ custom. Did he always walk the same path to the synagogue? Sit in the same area? Go to Panera Bread afterward (or is that just me)? During his earthly ministry, how did Jesus make decisions and prioritize practices which best allowed him to understand, proclaim, and fulfill his call?

Which of my habits fosters an openness to hearing God’s call in my life? What customs do I need to adopt or develop to respond well and live out my vocation?

Today, let us ask for the grace to further align our ways to Christ’s ways. In doing so, may we find greater participation fulfilling the Scripture and making manifest the kingdom of God.