From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Theme: Luke 4:21-30 Jesus is rejected in his hometown Nazareth
Summary: At the beginning of today’s Gospel, we see that the people in Jesus’ hometown think of him very highly. But then, all of a sudden, they become enraged with him. Jesus’ intent is to carry on with his ministry of making the love of God known and inviting everyone to enter into a close relationship with God. Jesus proclaims good news to the people who desperately needed words of hope, compassion, and love. This Gospel parallels the first reading in that even though prophets speaking of God’s love are often misunderstood, God’s message must still be made known to all people.
Scripture: “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”
In the day that Jesus lived, many people had a hard time believing some of the things that they heard about him. This was especially true of the people in his hometown of Nazareth. People had heard about the miracles that Jesus had done in Capernaum and they just didn’t know how they could be true. After all, wasn’t he Joseph’s son? How could the son of a carpenter do all of the things that they had heard about?
Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’ I tell you the truth,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. The people in the synagogue became furious. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him up on the hill on which the town was built, because they wanted to throw him off of a cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.
Heavenly Father, even when others refuse to believe that Jesus has the power to heal and forgive, help us to remain faithful and true. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life. Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: When have you faced rejection for making a Christian decision, and how did you deal with it?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
Whoever You Are
Written by Mern Fox
Family Discussion: Jesus’ statement that no prophet is accepted in his home town reminds us that it is often difficult to hear a challenging message from those who know us best, even if it is true. Perhaps we remember and even regret this aspect of our childhood and adolescence. We may have overlooked the wisdom and guidance of our parents, while allowing the voices of others—teachers, friends, and counselors—to carry more weight, even when these people were telling us the same thing. Perhaps this developmental stage is unavoidable. Perhaps as we have matured, we have come to a new appreciation for our parents and others whose perspective and experience we once rejected. Today’s Gospel provides an opportunity to talk about and to learn from such experiences.
As you gather as a family, consider proverbs or other wise sayings that are familiar to your family (“Blood is thicker than water;” “All that glitters is not gold.”). Consider what these proverbs mean and whether you believe them to be true. Why or why not? Jesus challenges the people of Nazareth by reminding them of old sayings that seem to have a lot of truth in them. Let’s listen to this Gospel and consider what these proverbs mean. Read aloud today’s Gospel, Luke 4:21-30. Ask: What were the proverbs that Jesus quoted? (Physician, cure yourself; No prophet is accepted in his native place.) Consider the meaning of these proverbs and look for examples from your own family life that show their truth. Consider how your family might accept one another’s wisdom and guidance and not reject the prophets in your midst. Conclude by praying together the Prayer to the Holy Spirit.