- 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(Lk4:21-30). Taken from today’s Sunday gospel.
- Without humanity God becomes unknown. Without men and women willing to be used by God God becomes inactive. We are the hands, legs and the voices of God. If we refuse to speak God remains silent. But he will certainly not like to remain silent since he himself is the Word. It is for this reason that in every age God finds himself willing prophets like Jeremiah and Jesus who were presented in our readings today.
Jesus visited his home village of Nazareth, read and preached in their synagogue on a sabbath day. At first his teaching made deep impression on them and they were filled with admiration for him. But when they thought of his family background they despised him for he was known as a carpenter’s son. Besides, they arrogantly wanted him to do miracles for them when they knew that they had no regard for him.
Jesus, not wishing to be seen a gentle nice fellow, gave it back to them. He reminded them of their long time attitude of looking down on men of God which has lead to their missing God’s blessings. He cited two concrete historical facts involving the great prophets Elijah and Elisha. In this way he concretely called them losers. This bitter but well illustrated truth enraged them to the point of wanting to kill him.
Today people continue to react violently to those who call them to order when they misbehave. To avoid such reaction many prefer to be jolly, good fellows who call good evil and evil good. Many have become sycophants, singing the praises of criminals and incompetent leaders. Even parents lack the courage to lead their wards in the way of rectitude. Some parents even connive with their children to enthrone evil. Today people openly praise their children as yahoo boys without blushing in shame. People who dress in a shameful styles are complimented as sexy etc. People complain about the changes in moral standard without taking responsibility for such changes which happen because we have silenced the prophet voice that we received on the day of our baptism. Like the contemporaries of Jesus we want God to come down and change the world. But we are the voices of God, we are his witnesses. How can he speak if we refuse to give him our voices?
If our world is fast sliding into the valley of moral decadence it is because those with knowledge have refused to speak because they are afraid of insult and persecution. Like Jeremiah, you as a Christian, must not allow your voice to be silent. You are the voice of God. Try to say things the way they are. In doing this you will be showing your love not only for God but also for the souls who will be saved because you spoke. Think, speak and act like God’s mouthpiece, tell the truth with boldness like the official government liars in this country. Imitate their constancy and arrogance for a better cause. ©Vita, 30/01/22.