Rejection at Nazareth
Monday, Sept 4, 2017 22nd Week in Ordinary Time 1st Reading: 1 Thes 4:13-18 Gospel: Lk 4:16–30
When Jesus came to Nazareth where he had been brought up, he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the book of the prophet Isaiah. Jesus then unrolled the scroll and found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and new sight to the blind; to free the oppressed and announce the Lord’s year of mercy.”
Jesus then rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant and sat down, while the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he said to them, “Today these prophetic words come true even as you listen.” All agreed with him and were lost in wonder, while he kept on speaking of the grace of God. Nevertheless they asked, “Who is this but Joseph’s son?” So he said, “Doubtless you will quote me the saying: Doctor, heal yourself! Do here in your town what they say you did in Capernaum.”
Jesus added, “No prophet is honored in his own country. Truly, I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens withheld rain for three years and six months and a great famine came over the whole land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow of Zarephath, in the country of Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha, the prophet, and no one was healed except Naaman, the Syrian.”
On hearing these words, the whole assembly became indignant. They rose up and brought him out of the town, to the edge of the hill on which Nazareth is built, intending to throw him down the cliff. But he passed through their midst and went his way.
Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience
If rejection is painful, imagine the pain if it comes from loved ones. It happened to Jesus, and the pain was at all levels. The crucifixion summarizes the intensity of what he suffered. Jesus’ resurrection, however, shows that rejection cannot put down a just man forever. It did not only dismantle the shackles of rejection but also empowered those who were discouraged to bounce back and become witnesses.
The Apostles stood out from among these witnesses. They converted many even if they did not push too hard on the adamant. But Paul warned them: “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles” (see Acts 14: 44-46).
Let us heed the same warning. If rejection is painful, imagine the pain if the rejection comes from God! –(Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM
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