February 3, 2019: Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading: Luke 4:21-30
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.
This week we hear about who Jesus is and who others believe him to be. He was their neighbor and he grew up with them. What he says is difficult to accept from this carpenter’s son. And the words he speaks seem to threaten instead of challenge those who hear them and they rebel. When we are challenged by Jesus’ words, are we open to them or do we rebel?
It is often difficult to hear a critical evaluation of yourself and to accept it when it seems unjust. Consider this week a time when the criticism of you was one you didn’t want to hear, yet found the courage to accept it. How did it make you feel when you look back on this situation?