A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke 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, 'Go 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."
This passage brings us to a place we can all relate to... " coming back home. " When you are away at college or have worked out of state for awhile, living on your own challenges you and changes you. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. But the kernel we will focus on here is the presence of God in one's life.
First, quiet your mind and heart by giving everything to the Lord right now...let Him take it and just be with Him and pray; "Come Holy Spirit, Creator blest and in my soul, take up Your rest. "Then read this passage out loud, slowly several times. Listen carefully, stay "still" enough to just hear the words you just spoke and that were just "spoken to you."
As we listen now, for the sake of this lectio, we are going to focus on the last sentence: "Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away. They sent Him away from his home.... " He went away." They drove him out and led him somewhere else, away from them. They didn't want to hear the words of Truth, that were confronting them. What he was saying was making them uncomfortable and the reaction was- they became defensive. They preferred to be praised and noticed, acknowledged and admired but not to be taught/corrected. The irony is, the confrontation of the Truth, and the challenge of Truth, IS THE GIFT from God to help us change as we need to, in order to become, fully alive, fully who we are called to be in Him, it IS the better part.
We too can do this. Jesus never leaves us, unless we push him away, unless we reject Him. And we can do this by rejecting Truth. As I read this passage I feel the pain of seeing Jesus walk away and pass through my midst. I would think that moment for the townspeople was a place of great sorrow. Oftentimes we don't feel that sorrow initially, out of pride or self righteousness, but later we feel that absence, that void, that emptiness in our heart, that comes from pushing Jesus away. It is never a place of true peace. The presence of Peace, true peace can only come with keeping Jesus close to us, so that we always see and hear what it is we need to learn and heed.
Lord, let my heart be Your home always, help me to hear Your Truth, to listen to Your voice, to allow Your love to teach me. Help me to receive You in maybe what is difficult to me right now, help me to not push You away. Increase my faith, and help me Lord, to walk with You, in good times and bad. I want my heart to be a place, where you are always at home, where you are never cast out. Help me to accept and embrace Truth- who is YOU LORD! Amen