January 31, 2016: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying:
“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, “Isn’t this 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 Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away. (Luke 4:21-30)
The Ugly Duckling is a classic story by Hans Christian Anderson about an ordinary-looking little bird being bullied by his brothers and sisters, as well as many other animals, for being different.
In our gospel reading today, Jesus is bullied by people from his home town (his native place) because he is different, and Jesus makes them uncomfortable by challenging their narrow way of thinking.
Think of a time in your life when you felt different. Then spend time this week talking with someone you usually don’t talk with…a classmate, teammate, or someone who belongs to the same club as you.