MONDAY 9 MARCH 2015
Luke 4 : 24 — 30 (Everyone was outraged)
Jesus came to Nazara and spoke to the people in the synagogue; ‘I tell you solemnly,no prophet is ever accepted in his own country’.
These words spoken by Jesus in response to the peoples outrage that he had come not only for the Jews but to proclaim God’s saving love and healing for all peoples of the world, has much to say in the context of a world of many faith communities and cultures.The narrow-mindedness of Israel was seen at its clearest in Nazareth amongst Jesus own people.
Today we too can be tempted to be inward looking and focused on only the good of our faith community without recognizing the spirit of God alive and active in other faith communities. Pope Francis in his Lenten message calls this kind of outlook that is very prevalent in our modern society a` globalization of indifference’.
Closing the door to God and to our brothers and sisters. Lent offers us an opportunity to review our narrow-minded and self centred ways.
To look beyond ourselves and to do what Jesus did in welcoming and loving all peoples. Jesus is the divine physician sent by the Father to heal us and lead us to salvation.
He follows in the Old Testament model of Elijah and Elisha who were healing prophets of old. Jesus reminds the townspeople of Nazareth that Elisha was sent to Israel as a healer and physician but only the Syrian,Naaman was healed of his leprosy.
These words incensed the crowd who previously had applauded him. Jesus the divine healer is rejected and dispised. Sin like leprosy destroys and wounds but through the sacraments of the church we are healed. Let us seek in this time of lent forgiveness and healing in the sacrament of confession,for our self centred ways so as to reach out in love of God and our neighbours of other faith communities.
Pray for Christian Unity.Join in an ecumenical prayer rrieeting.Promote God’s healing gifts for all people.
Lord grant me the gift of repentance.fielp me to refrain from judging others. May I understand that your love, mercy and healing shines on us all. We make this prayer in Jesus name.
+Bishop Peter Holiday
Diocese of Kroonstad