3 February 2019. Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reflection (Sem. Justin G. Gatus)
In the Gospel, Jesus was initially accepted and praised by the people of His hometown but in the latter part of the account, He was rejected by the same people who were amazed and spoke highly of Him. He then stated one of the famous lines in the Bible, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.” (Luke 4:24)
I learned in one of our subjects that two of the most powerful weapons of prophets are their words and their deeds. These words are not of their own but from the Holy Spirit. Their deeds, on the other hand, lies on how they live out the words they proclaim. As a future pastor, this is always expected from us. A priest must have integrity in speech and in deeds. As a seminarian, we are always taught to be conscious of our identity wherever we are. We have to be conscious of our words and deeds and make sure that we live out what we learn from our formation. But the challenge goes beyond what is external. It must reach the internal disposition of a person. There were times when I failed in this matter—that my words were not in accord with my deeds. And it was when I forget one necessary thing—that I have a God who is loving, generous, and merciful. There will come a time when we might reject our own selves. When filled with anger, we might reject our own selves by our doubts, worries, and distrust in the Lord.
But the Gospel for today invites us to always seek God in our daily lives. We are asked to remember that we have a God who has boundless love, mercy, and compassion and is generous in giving them. That way, when we start to see and feel that we are loved by God, we learn to love ourselves and thus, be a prophet in proclaiming to others God’s love, generosity, and mercy.
The Gospel Today
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.