The Bitter Side of Truth

And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.” (Luke 4:22)“And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.” (Luke 4:22)

In today’s Gospel passage, we see that what began as a happy reception for Jesus eventually turned into an attempt to kill him. Luke tells us that it was the usual custom of Jesus to go to the Synagogue in Nazareth. On this day, Jesus decided to step into the podium to proclaim the message. He read from the book of the prophet Isaiah a passage that was about him.

So long as Jesus said beautiful things to them, they were happy with him. So why would the same people who spoke well of them turn around so quickly to throw him off the cliff? What was responsible for this sudden change of attitude?

By giving examples of how Elijah ministered to a widow of Zeraphath, and how Elisha cured Naaman, the Syrian, Jesus made them understand that salvation was not hereditary. This was a truth too hard to bear; a truth that many still struggle with today.

The fact that I come from a generation of Christians does not automatically qualify me for heaven, it is the life I live that matters. Indeed, the fact that I am a Catholic does not qualify me for heaven, it is the way I live that counts. In Matthew 21:31, Jesus declared: “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots will go into the kingdom of God before you.”

Writing to the Corinthians, St. Paul reminded them how he came preaching the message of salvation with very simple terms using the common language of the people. More still, he lived among them like any other person, in weakness and in much fear and trembling. In the end, it became clear that their conversion and life in Christ was simply a demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit. As ministers of God, all we need is to make ourselves available as instruments and God will do the rest. Indeed, none of us can boast or take credit for converting even a single soul.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to accept the truth of your Word and live accordingly. Amen.

Bible Study: 1st Corinthians 2:1-5, Psalm 119:97-102, and Luke 4:16-30).

Fr. Ab

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