Sunday, February 3, 2019

“Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.”

“Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.” ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Gospel Text: (LK 4:21-30)
Jesus began speaking in the synagogue, saying:
"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, "Isn't this 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 Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.

If we believe in the meaning of the Cross and of the empty tomb; if we believe in God’s desire to heal us and reconcile us and redeem us, then we are called to love as Jesus loves. We are called to be open to where the Holy Spirit leads us, even if it means crossing the barriers that exist between people. People may not be willing to hear. The people in Nazareth who heard Jesus today in the Gospel were not. And many (but not all) who benefit from the status quo today sadly will not either. But just as God promised Jeremiah (See the first reading from Mass today: Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19), God will be with us.

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