A reading from the gospel according to Luke 4:24-30:
24 Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth: “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
25 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.
26 It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
27 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.”
28 When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury.
29 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.
30 But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
Reflection: Openness to receive God’s word
Who could believe that a boy who grew up in our neighborhood is actually the Messiah? This question must in the mind of the people of Nazareth during the time of Jesus. They knew Him personally. In fact, they were very familiar with Him so that when they heard about Him performing miracles in some distant towns, they raised their eyebrows and waited for Him to do the same things in their town. Alas, it doesn’t work that way. Too often, familiarity breeds contempt.
It is often said that God works in mysterious ways. Sometimes He uses people who are close to us to deliver His message. At other times, He uses strangers and even nature to give us some signs. That is why we must be open and ready, at all times, to accept His message with faith instead of fury. It takes humility for this to happen. Many times jealousy, pride and sometimes plain curiosity get in the way in our acceptance of God’s blessings.
Many times too, we are hurt when we hear the truth about us especially if that truth is unpleasant. That is why, we have the tendency to avoid or even drive away the messenger of God. Worse is to kill that messenger. It does happen to all bearers of truth.
Without this attitude of openness, even Jesus passes by in our midst, we cannot recognize Him. It’s because we are too familiar with some doctrinal teachings about Him that we have put Him in a box. In the mind of many people, there is a caricature of God or a Messiah. In other words, man has created their own god. This is the tragedy when the mystery of God is lost to many people.
For further reflection, go here.