Reflecting on today’s Gospel reminded me of Richard Rohr who said: “either you allow the Holy Scriptures to change you, or you will normally try to use it to change and clobber other people.” Jesus connects his Words and actualizes it with the lives of those who were listening to him at the time saying “this text is being fulfilled today even while you are listening” (Luke 4:21). But a sudden change of reaction came out of them; at first approval, attention and marvel… “He was teaching in their synagogue and everyone praised him” (Luke 4:15) then “the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him” (Luke 4:20). And after Jesus receives a furious, and an aggressive reply when he speaks on proclaiming good news to the poor, the blind and the oppressed (cf Luke 4:18). To the point of “driving him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill… in order to throw him off the cliff” (Luke 4:18). They were so closed to welcome his Words. They were scandalized on what they heard, especially when he sighted the story of Elijah “many widows in Israel, but Elijah was sent to a foreign widow of Zarephath” (1Kings 17:7-16) and the story of Elisha “many lepers in Israel but he was sent to a foreign land of Syria” (2kings 5:14). They cannot accept what he said and all the more believed that these Words are coming from an ordinary person like him as they questioned one another “Is he not Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:22) or “Is he not the carpenter?” (Matthew 6:3). They were not pleased at what they heard.
Today, let us, call on the Holy Spirit to grant us the Grace of Humility, to open our hearts so we can welcome the Word of God, to give us the courage to allow his teachings to confront our lives and be transformed by his very Words; to give witness to his Word in proclaiming the Good News to the poor, liberate the captives, give sight to the blind and liberty to those who are oppressed.
Francisco Palau Community