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.
Back in the time of Jesus, as well as in our world today, it has always been very easy to get caught up in our own lives and solely focus on our own interests. Today’s Gospel of Luke challenges us to change ourselves into people who turn their focus onto others and who care about others, no matter their flaws.
The Nazarenes in the Gospel story are angry at Jesus because he will not show them the miracles that he is capable of doing. We may not directly get angry at Jesus for not showing us miracles, but this is the same as when we are angry because something has gone wrong in our lives or when we beg God to make something better.
He never completely refuses our prayers, but often answers them in a different way than we had hoped. If we open ourselves up to other people and other opportunities, we may be able to see many other blessings that God has given us.
The people in the story became extremely angry and tried to throw Jesus off a cliff. I know that in my life, I oftentimes feel angry at Jesus and instead of literally trying to hurt him; I try to throw him out of my life for a while until things seem to get better.
Instead of trying to rid my life of worrying about my faith, I should open myself up and think about all of the gifts that God has graced me with. We all can learn from this Gospel how to live the life of an optimist and constantly look for what God has given us.
After reviewing this Gospel reading, we need to examine our own feelings toward Jesus’ message to the Nazarenes. Jesus asked them to reflect on how they had been caught up in themselves and in their own community instead of going out of their way to put others before themselves.
Now, we need to ask ourselves if we live according to Jesus’ way or if we constantly think about ourselves. Do we accept other people and care for them as we should? Are there others in our lives we can become more accepting of? How can we look for the good that God has given us in our own lives?