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Rejection of Jesus

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Rejection of Jesus
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Monday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

September 1, 2014

 

READINGS

First Reading: 1 COR 2:1-5

Responsorial Psalm: PS 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102

Gospel: LK 4:16-30

 

HOMILY

When Jesus went to His hometown Nazareth, He was not welcomed. This is their rejection of Jesus. He was in their synagogue and as the Gospel relates, Jesus read what was handed to Him. After which, He said “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” At first, the people were amazed at His words but later took offense at Him because they could not accept what He said that He is the fulfillment of the prophesy of Isaiah knowing Him to be ordinary son of a carpenter. Jesus used to be their neighbor and who was their playmate when they were children. What Jesus said was a claim that He is The Anointed One mentioned in the prophet Isaiah:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

How could an ordinary man, a carpenter, who had no proper education claim to be the Anointed One, the Messiah?  They could not believed what they hear from Jesus. His townsfolk seemed to know everything about Jesus.  With this, Jesus told them that a prophet is accepted everywhere else except in his own native place, and cited about the rejection of the prophets Elijah and Elisha. And because of all these they would like to throw Him down headlong at the brow of the hill on which their town was built. But Jesus was able to escape their grasp. This rejection of Jesus is their rejection that He is the Messiah.

In our society today, it is very seldom that a successful neighbor, who come back or visit his hometown, be rejected. People are even proud that their neighbor is now an engineer, or a doctor or a lawyer or a priest or nun.

After one of my companions, a priest in the congregation I belong, the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, was ordained a priest, he went home to Salay, Misamis Oriental to celebrate his First Mass. Upon his arrival, he was welcomed at the bus terminal with a marching band and a parade around the whole town thereafter. The people were so proud to have a new priest from their town.

With this, I can say that we cannot literally relate with the rejection of Jesus by His townsfolk.  Yes, I can also say that we know and have accepted Jesus as the Christ, our Savior.  But do we really know Him? Have we totally accepted Him? What do I mean? St. John said in his letter:

Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live [just] as he lived. (1 John 2:3-6).

This is simply saying that to accept Jesus is to keep His commandments and His word, and to live our lives as He lived. Well, do we really accept Him? Or are we just selecting which commandments, which life of Jesus to accept? I can now say for my self that there are still so many things about myself that rejects Jesus. It is sad but it is true. This is our kind of rejection of Jesus. Then let us fervently pray and ask Jesus to open our hearts in total acceptance of Him that we may live according to His life.

 

Image credit: ourcatholicfaithjourney.com

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