Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth: “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.( Luke 4:24-30)
Rejection is a bitter pill to swallow for most people. Partly because it strikes at that small part of us that may not feel as “worthy” or “as good” or “different” than the secular world. The recourse for many who experience it is to turn away from the source of the rejection or worse yet to shut off that source from our life. To do that, people will “love” less or strike back. Today’s Gospel reminds us that He who loves us the most understand rejection, dealt with it and left us a gift to deal with it.
When Jesus first proclaimed the good news of God’s kingdom to his own townspeople at Nazareth, he did not hesitate to confront them with their sin of indifference and unbelief. He startled his listeners and angered them when he complimented Gentiles who had shown more faith in God than the “chosen ones” of Israel.
But even in Nazareth, where repentance and introspection were discarded for anger and retribution, the light of Christ will lead people back to their faithful union with the Lord. God does not brood over injury or rejoice over wrongdoing but eternally hopes in our return to Him through our own free will, for our sake. That is the love, or caritas or agape, to which we are called, and which brings us closest to God.
He comes to each of us every day. To soothe us, to comfort us, to remind us of His ever-abiding love. He wants each of us to reach deep inside and reject those parts of ourselves that say we are less worthy, not as good, not as successful, not like the images from the digital world.
He wants to help us. He wants us to hold tight to the fact that his love for us is so great that he gave up his life for us. Let’s repeat that. The son of God loved you and I so much that he underwent scorn, rejection, humiliation, anger, torture and ultimately death for you and me. He lived a human life so that we might imitate Him. And, without imitating Him, how could we be healed?
Yes, he knew rejection and his mortal body suffered in the worst possible way to free us
so that we may live eternally with him.
No rejection of any kind should wound us because His love reminds us that we are special to him. We are his sons and daughters. That’s right. We are sons and daughters of God.
Scripture tells us that “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Prayer of The Day
Lord thank you for the offering of your calm, peaceful loving presence. I seek your ways today, Lord, carry me today as always do. I open my heart for you to fill it once again
” Could anyone refuse to love our God, so abounding in mercy, so just in all his ways? Could anyone deny love to him who first loved us despite all our injustice and all our pride? Could anyone refuse to love the God who so loved us as to send his only Son not only to live among human beings but also to be put to death for their sake and at their own hands?”(Augustine of Hippo)