And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Isn’t it amazing that the Nazarenes can have Jesus the Messiah in their midst and reject him entirely? It’s bad enough that they miss the deep truth that God’s boundless love is freely given to the chosen (no matter how rebellious) and the “non-chosen,” to men and women alike. But they are so blinded by anger at having their own Scripture cited against them that they expel Jesus and seek to kill him!
It is easy for us to judge the Nazarenes and the many others in Scripture who rejected Jesus, and the prophets before him. The challenge of Lent is to stop and ask, are we really that different?
In what ways do we drive Jesus out of our lives? What stands in our way of having a deeper relationship with God?
We know that Jesus slips away from the angry mob and continues his journey. We know the end of the story—the ultimate rejection leads to the Easter resurrection. What do we need right now, in order to embrace Easter resurrection more fully?
–The Jesuit Prayer Team, Chicago-Detroit Province
Lord, awaken our spirit to anything that keeps us from surrendering our life to you. Help us to overcome the need for control, the self-doubt that casts a shadow on our future, and the inclination to ask for more while skipping over the blessings of the day. Renew in us the awe of your resurrection. And should our cross be particularly heavy, let us recognize your plea to share the weight with you.
–The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!