From the Word of the Day
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. (Luke 4: 25-26)
Even here, Jesus is the personification of courageous freedom thrust into a world filled with cowardly people, tied to their material interests. Before His bitter enemies in the synagogue of Nazareth, He takes up a position against all the closures colored by self-love.
The widow wholeheartedly helped by the Prophet Elijah during the time of the great famine was not an Israelite. She belonged to Zarephath, an area of Syrian-Phoenician people, who among other things were hostile to the Israelites.
Naaman was a leper healed by the Prophet Eliseo. He, too, was a Syrian and not an Israelite. Jesus wants to highlight the importance of demolishing walls and opening gates. Neither nationalism nor political/religious faith can keep them closed.
Wherever Jesus brings God’s salvation, even people of today realize that there reigns the freedom of love, of assistance, of growth and never that of division or cementing self in positions of closure.
In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to open wide my heart and my mind to accept every person as my sister and brother.
Lord, give me a heart that is wide open to receive everyone, respecting their religious, political, ethnic, and social identity.
The Voice of Blasé Pascal
If God’s mercy is so great as to instruct us in a salutary way even when He hides, for example in the pages of the Gospel, what light can we expect when He reveals Himself to us?
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Comment by Sr. Maria Pia Giudici, FMA