Gospel Reading: Lk 4:24-30
Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth: “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 he passed through the midst of them and went away.
Reflection No prophet is accepted in his own place
At the synagogue of Nazareth where Jesus reads from Isaiah, the people speak well of him and are amazed at the gracious words that come from his mouth — until they realize that there could be nothing extraordinary about Jesus because his background is well known to them. Thus, their initial amazement turns into a scornful rejection. To which Jesus responds by showing the people how they are very much like their ancestors who rejected the prophets.
Indeed, serving in your own town or city seems at first advantageous since you know the place and the people. At the same time, however, it is also very difficult to preach to people who know you very well. You are challenged to prove that you have the authority and credibility to preach to them.
In his case, Jesus has no problem showing authority and credibility because his works testify to him. The difficulty remains with the people of Nazareth who think they know Jesus too well to put him in a box.
Do we judge people’s credibility by their works or by their socio-economic status?
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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.