Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’”
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.
As my classmates and I began philosophy studies, our Novice Master warned that envy can quickly sour the bonds of community. Something as simple as asking a brother Jesuit what grade he received could open the door to resentment, very quickly.
In today’s Gospel, all begins well for Jesus, speaking in his hometown. The first reports are glowing. Until envy sparks. People question his fame. He is a local boy. They know his mother and cousins. The mood turns ugly. Jesus’s words are lost, and they hustle him to the edge of the cliff.
Chilling is Luke’s conclusion: “[Jesus] went on his way.”
Today, I can reflect on moments when I have envied others, and plan how to prevent such a spark so that I am ready when the door to resentment opens. I do not want Jesus to go away.
Seek God in all things,and we shall find God by our side.
—St. Peter Claver, SJ
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