02 September 2019. Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Reflection (Sem. Roldan B. Baliano)
Respect and acceptance from others are things we desire deep in our hearts. Personally, I desire to be respected and accepted because these help me boost my self-worth. However, there are times when we experience disrespect and rejection instead. I experienced this when I was still working. Once, there was an irate and arrogant customer who did not want to get a priority number for his transaction. It was a Friday and the bank was crowded with customers, particularly senior citizens, but he insisted to be served ahead of them. When he handed over his multiple transactions, I tried to explain to him the process, but instead of listening to me, he responded in outrage. He shouted at me and even threatened me. I was deeply insulted and humiliated. At that moment, I wanted to fight back but I chose to stay calm and composed instead. Silently, I prayed. When he noticed that the guards were heading his way, he immediately left.
In the Gospel, Jesus also experienced humiliation. He received a harsh welcome. He was insulted, disrespected and rejected by the very people in His hometown. Despite the unfriendly welcome from his kinsfolk, Jesus remained calm and composed. Instead of retaliating, He walked away and chose to understand. This is Jesus: at the face of humiliation, He would choose peace. The Gospel for today invites me to emulate Jesus. When I am faced with disrespect and rejection, I am called to stay modest, nonviolent and peaceful.
The Gospel Today
Luke 4: 16 – 30
Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Rolling up the scroll,
he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“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, “Is this not 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 he passed through the midst of them and went away.