MARCH 16, 2009- MONDAY THIRD
WEEK OF LENT: LUKE 4:24-30
“NO PROPHET IS ACCEPTED IN HIS OWN COUNTRY.” These words of our Lord are among the better known of his sayings. When some one feels misunderstood or contradicted upon giving advice often enough he expresses his chagrin by making use of these words, commonly with a certain admixture of light humor. Often enough, though, they are spoken with earnest seriousness that entitle him to remark “I told you so” after the prognosis proves to be correct. The instances of this kind of unheeded ‘Prophecy’ are all too numerous: A father tells his son, “If you do not study more, you will not get your diploma”; the physician tells the patient “if you do not give up smoking you will get emphysema.” Wisdom, if it comes at all, is commonly acquired through suffering from our mistakes.
Although Jesus had at first by his words made a strongly favorable impression yet when he claimed acceptance as one who spoke in God’s name, he was rejected. Today, upon hearing the account of the occasion that evoked the reproachful observation that a Prophet is not accepted in his own country, we are invited to consider what led him to pronounce such a judgment on his audience. He addressed this sharply critical observation to people who had been his neighbors for years. They had known him as a member of an ordinary working-man’s family from boyhood. They considered that they knew him too well as one of their own to view him as God’s chosen representative, as the one who speaks for God, in a word, as a prophet. His comment was not only a voicing of his deeply felt frustration, but a warning that still invites to reflection as to our readiness to take his words to heart and to act in compliance with their message.
God regularly reveals his will to us in the familiar
circumstances of daily life. The surface of life often serves as a screen for
deeper realities that remain buried within events and remain hidden in the
heart of the individual.
Jesus spent most of his life of earth in obscurity, engaged
in the same everyday tasks as the large majority of people living in small
towns and out of the way places so that his associates perceived nothing about
him that opened their minds to his unique personality. Even when Jesus launched
his mission of preaching the coming of the