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No Prophet Is Accepted in His Own Native Place
Monday of the Third Week of Lent
Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth: “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.
Opening Prayer: Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
- Amen, I Say to You: Amen: so be it, verily, truth—when the Lord speaks, he speaks in truth. Sometimes we question in prayer, “Is that my voice and my words? Or is it you, Jesus and your words?” We can let our thoughts or distractions infiltrate our prayer, turning the conversation into a task list or a hurried, one-sided monologue. If we “rest in him,” allowing the Lord to draw our heart and mind back to him, he reminds us that our prayer time is sacred and intimate—a time we don’t want to rush through, for it’s then that he speaks truth into our lives.
- Filled with Fury: Hearing the truth can be difficult. We don’t always like constructive criticism or negative feedback, but it’s a great reminder that we are not perfect, that we need God. Pride and vanity have strong roots, and emotions can be blinding, but we know that when we give our sinful tendencies and emotions over to the Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are transformed and our virtue is strengthened. We are more free to be the person Our Lord created and called us to be.
- He Passed through the Midst of Them: Jesus, at the end of this passage, speaks to us of sin. When we allow anger to dictate our actions and reactions we are pushing the Lord out of our heart. He simply passes by. Our Lord never forces us to behave in a certain way. He respects our free will and doesn’t intrude. However, he is never far away—he always awaits our return, for the storm to pass, for our contrition to sink in. His patience, mercy, and compassion are limitless, and for this we are humbled and grateful.
Conversing with Christ: Dearest Jesus, grant me the grace to always recognize and welcome your truth. Grant me the humility to give my sinful tendencies and emotions to you, and strengthen me in virtue so that I may be free. I want to be perfect as my heavenly Father is perfect—perfect in love.
Resolution: Lord today by your grace I will accept correction, with gratitude for the chance to grow in humility.
For Further Reflection: Second Letter of Peter 1:5-8: “For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
written by Marjorie Davin