Rejected in his hometown
March 5, 2018
Monday, 3rd Week of Lent
1st Reading: 2 K 5:1–15ab
Gospel: Lk 4:24–30
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)
From the start Jesus never experienced warmth from any human heart, except perhaps from his immediate family and from some disciples who followed him all the way. Recall how he was born on a manger on Christmas day, with no one rolling the red carpet to welcome him hospitably. We have to be grateful that somehow we were represented by Joseph and Mary, who stood in faith to receive the Father’s gift in the name of humanity. We bow in shame as we read in the Gospel of today how humanity rejected Jesus and drove him away. Jesus could only take a deep breath and say, “No prophet is honored in his own country.”
Jesus was hurt but it was humanity rejecting him that got wounded. They drove away a God who wanted to live with his beloved. We may not be driving God the way the Jews did. But are we better today in accepting Jesus in word and deed? Considering how we make compromises, we can’t really say that our faith is splendid. We can only strike our breast, admit our wickedness and confess those sins so sordid. With hearts humble and contrite we wish Jesus would never ever say, “No prophet is honored in his own country”.
In this Season of Lent let us do penance to show how truly we repent. By avoiding meat every Friday and abandoning our folly, by going to confession promptly and by making our devotions diligently, we manifest this sincere Lenten intent. But beyond these may the poor find Lent a privileged moment, as we open our eyes to their plight and turn benevolent.
If God really is hungry and thirsty in the poor, may poor people find in our hearts a wide open door, where they feel the warmth of Christian love galore! So that Christ will never ever say as he said before, “Except in his own country no prophet is without honor.” – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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