An open mind is not an end in itself but a means to the end of finding truth.” ― Peter Kreeft (Professor of philosophy at Boston College)
Gospel Text: (LK 4:16-30)
Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
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.
Rolling up the scroll,
he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?”
He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb,
‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’”
And he said,
“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
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.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
It has been said that the greatest chasm in the world is the distance between the mind and the heart.
Reread today’s Gospel and place yourself in the scene. As the synagogue members listen to Jesus and note the graciousness of his words, they still can’t bridge that gap between their minds and their hearts. They are impressed with him intellectually and emotionally, but they still can’t get past what they know of him. He grew up with them; they played together as children; they worked together at their trades. He couldn’t possibly be more than they already know! And so their polite approval changes to fury when Jesus exposes their closed hearts.
Jesus’ heart must have ached to see his neighbors unable to accept him.
What about you? Will you go deeper than what you know about the Lord? Will you let him—Jesus, the person, and not just the ideas about him—touch your heart?