And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
For many years this Gospel was difficult for me to relate to. It is rare that I have been furious in my life. It has happened however that a disappointment turned to anger, that anger into fury. Just like these Nazoreans I was unable to see the reality of what was really happening right in front of me.
Blinded by anger. Spiraling out of control. Emotions can be that way. When we are emotional it is challenging to step back and open up. In this story Jesus is offering an invitation to discipleship. In this time of Lent he invites us to open our hearts to the invitation to seek him and his love. Jesus reminds us he is in our midst waiting for our “yes.” Can you seek him today not only in prayer but in the world around you?
—Erin Maiorca serves as associate director of Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington, IL.
in whom we live and move and have our being,
your face is hidden from us by our sins.
We forget your mercy in the blindness of our hearts.
Cleanse me from my failings.
Deliver me from proud thoughts and vain desires.
With lowliness and weakness may I draw near to you,
confessing my faults, confiding in your grace.
Merciful God, through Jesus, your son,
be my refuge and my strength now and always. Amen.
—The Jesuit prayer team