Posted by: livingscripture | September 3, 2012

Twenty Second Monday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“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.”

                                                      (Luke 4: 24-27))

                                                                                                                                 

How should we live this Word

 

A prophet is not so much one who announces the future as one who courageously announces the truth.  What Jesus said in the holy place of the synagogue is a shocking truth hurled at the conscience of the people who were surprised at what He said.  Jesus is not afraid to provoke.  He reminded His listeners that at the time of great calamity, only the poor widow of Zarephath was sensitive to the urgency of Elijah’s hunger and thirst.  It was only Naaman the leper, a stranger from Syria, who was cured.  The provocation is this.  The Lord is the God who saves His creatures.  He saves them even outside of the ethnic and cultural strictures created by our fear and foolishness.

The Lord is a God who loves and saves every person who wishes to be saved and is free of  arrogance and pride.  The people understood nothing.  Their rejection led them to attempt to stone Him.  What a beautiful scene as Jesus passes through them with calm and agility, not to save Himself but to continue His journey.

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will ponder how foolish it is to reject others because of their race, ethnicity, or religion.

Jesus, you are still walking among us.  Convert my heart to You so that by seeking and loving You, I may be able to love others in Your name and assist them, whoever they are.

The voice of Maximo the Confessor, Ancient Church Father

Never harm another with double meaning words.  He may respond in like manner and you will both lose your orientation to love.                             

 


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