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Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time, September 4, 2023


Gospel Lk 4:16-30

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, "Is this not the son of Joseph?" He said to them, "Surely you will quote me this proverb, 'Physician, cure yourself,' and say, 'Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'" And he said, "Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.


Reflection

This was a long Gospel and I had to read it a couple of times before I could make any sense of it. I will say it certainly took a twist.

What stood out to me the most was that everyone loved and respected Jesus and what he was saying so much in the beginning of the passage…”And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth”.

But then after having everyone’s attention he continued his preaching saying, "Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place…It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,

but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.

Again, there were many lepers in Israel

during the time of Elisha the prophet;

yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

And the people did not like this… “they were all filled with fury.

They rose up, drove him out of the town”. But why did they not like what he said? Was it not the truth? What upset them so much?

Now I might not understand why they were so angered, but I can gather that Jesus was giving them a hard truth and they did not like it.

It forced them to look inwards at themselves and I don’t think they liked what they saw, so they lashed out towards Jesus. It makes me think, would people today be as upset as they were back then? I think definitely yes. Society today is easily blinded and led astray by false beliefs.

What irony and truth to this situation. The public will always love you when you are telling them what they want to hear or what goes with their way of thinking, but the second someone tries to speak truth that alters their beliefs that person is ridiculed and shunned. There is such irony as Jesus even said, no prophet is accepted in their native place and they really proved him right. I think it is important for us to be able to take a look inwards have introspection and sit with our thoughts before acting on them. And maybe instead of lashing out in fear or anger towards others we can find the true source of that pain and heal it through prayer and following the real truth, Jesus.

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