Not Ready for the Passion Yet

Want to rate this?

Monday of the Third Week of Lent


Luke 4:24-30

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: Dear Jesus, I want to encounter you as I read this story of your preaching. You were courageous in speaking the truth, and you wanted your listeners to wake up and change. Instead, they let themselves get angry with you and turned against you. Lord, may I never turn against you. Allow your words to penetrate my soul and bring about a change of heart in me. 


Encountering Christ:


  1. No Prophet Is Accepted in His Native Place: Objectively, Jesus is the most loveable person there ever was or will be. But he encountered many people, even those from his hometown, who rejected him. In this passage, they rejected Jesus because he was too familiar. They assumed they knew him well, and their partial knowledge blinded them to the greater truth that the Messiah was in their midst. It is pride that prompts us to jump to conclusions and judge rashly. The Messiah is in our midst every day. May our hearts be open and docile to his promptings, not hardened by our pride. 
  2. They Rose up and Drove Him Out: The movement of the angry mob of people in the synagogue is a paradigm for sin—an image of what happens in our lives every time we turn away from God due to our own pride, vanity, or sensuality. We can get swept up by the “angry mob” (temptation) and purposely push Jesus away by sinning outright, or we might simply “go along with the crowd” and reject Jesus by our complacency or distraction. To keep grace alive in our souls, we have to resist the lure of angry mobs. We have to set ourselves apart from much of contemporary thought and take the narrow path his disciples took, sometimes even lamenting, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
  3. They Seek to Hurl Him Down Headlong: Did Jesus have the power to escape his enemies whenever he wanted to? He most certainly did. In this passage, Jesus “passed through the midst” of those intent on killing him, completely in control of his destiny. John, whose writing emphasizes Jesus’ divinity, told us also that when it was his time to give his life during his Passion, Jesus did so voluntarily: “No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of myself” (John 10:18). Jesus, in his humanity, suffered and died, but in his divinity made his sacrificial offering for us from the depths of his heart, of his own holy will. 


Conversing with Christ: Jesus, help me to enter into the mystery of your Passion, the greatest mystery of your life and of history, through the words of today’s Gospel. You were utterly rejected by many of those you came to save. You came to love humanity, and they rose up in hatred. You came because your anger with our sin was obliterated by your mercy, but you faced only unforgiving anger from those who heard your words. Help me to answer you differently, full of love and humility, seeking to follow you.


Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will take a moment to gaze on the crucifix and pray, offering my love to you.


For Further Reflection: John 6:60-71 or John 10:1-18.

Fr. Adam Zettel, LC, was ordained in 2017 and worked for three years as a high school chaplain in Dallas, Texas. Now he resides in Oakville, Ontario, serving youth and young adults.

Average Rating

What did you think?

Share your review! Just log in or create your free account.

Leave a Reply

Want more?

Sign up for the weekly email and access to member-only content

Skip to content