“No prophet is accepted in his hometown.”

Today’s Gospel reminds us that we can understand Jesus only when we humbly open our hearts and make ourselves available to Him. How many times have we heard His parables? We become so familiar with these
parables that perhaps we fail to grasp the true meaning of the message that God is sending to us – new resolutions to change our ways, new challenges to repentance and growth in the Spirit, new opportunities to open our hearts to His love.

At first the people of Nazareth listened readily to the wisdom of Jesus’ words. But they were very superficial; in their narrow-minded pride they felt hurt that Jesus, their fellow townsman, had not worked in Nazareth the wonders He had worked elsewhere. When Jesus proclaimed the good news of God’s kingdom to His own people, He did not hesitate to confront them with their sin of indifference and unbelief.
He angered them when He complimented the Gentiles who seemed to have shown more faith in God than the “chosen ones” of Israel. The Jews regarded the unbelieving Gentiles as “fuel for the fires of hell.” Jesus’ praise for “outsiders” offended the ears of His own people because they were blind-sighted to God’s mercy and plan of redemption for all nations. The word of warning and judgment spoken by Jesus was met with hostility by His own people. They forcibly threw Him out of the town and would have done Him harm had He not stopped them.

With a heavy heart, Jesus said, “No prophet is accepted in his hometown.” No doubt, Jesus wanted them to listen to Him, and learn what He had to teach them – but they looked the other way.
This whole episode is a good lesson about understanding Jesus. We can understand Him only if we are humble and are genuinely resolved to make ourselves available to Him. Jesus does not take flight but withdraws majestically, leaving the crowd paralyzed. As on other occasions men do Him no harm; it was by God’s decree that He died on a cross when His hour had come.


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