Gospel of 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.

Luke 4:21-30

Today’s Gospel reading has always reminded me of the tendency we have to look down on a person’s words, insights, and input due to how we perceive their status.  This status could involve intelligence, wealth, or social standing among many others.  Imagine how many people in today’s Gospel completely missed who was directly in front of them because of His identity as a carpenter’s son, which was certainly not a compliment in this context.  It is very tempting in our daily lives to dismiss people based on their status in our eyes, which is to deny the dignity given to them by God. 

I have two challenges for readers this week.  The first is for those who find themselves dismissive of others as we have described.  C.S. Lewis wrote, “Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”  Spend some time reflecting on the dignity of the person you may be dismissing and how, if you were present in the crowd that day, you may have dismissed Jesus Himself.  Every single person makes up the Body of Christ in our Church and every single person has something to offer. 

The second challenge is for the dismissed.  It hurts to be rejected, invalidated, and dismissed, but take heart in the fact that the same thing happened to Christ.  Do not let these dismissals become a catalyst for feeling incapable of love, respect, and validation.  Despite our being rejected, we are still adored and loved by Christ.  This week, spend some time reflecting on the Gospel and both you and your neighbor’s dignity and value as a member of the Body of Christ.

Reflect

  1. Take time to prayerfully examine how you view others, especially those you don’t like to be around. What is something good about them that you have failed to notice? What kind act can you do for them?
  2. Do your own feelings of rejection hold you back from acheiving all that God wants for you? What practical steps can you take to move past this?

This reflection originally appeared on: https://www.sacredheartcleveland.com/

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