And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
From the earliest days of his public ministry, Jesus experienced the sting of rejection. Visiting his hometown synagogue in Nazareth, he read from the prophet Isaiah, and all were amazed. We can infer from his response to the crowd—“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place”—that his message was not what the people anticipated, that he was not whom they wanted. Jesus’ own kinfolk unceremoniously drove him out of town.
We all like to be praised for witnessing to the Gospel; there is, after all, comfort in “preaching to the choir.” But when circumstances dictate, can we step out, with quiet steadfastness or confident boldness, to proclaim the inconvenient truth about Jesus? Like Jesus, can we accept the sting of rejection?
Through your most holy passion and death, I beg you, Lord, to grant me a holy life along with a complete death to all my vices and passions and self-love. Help me grow in your faith, hope, and charity. Amen.
—St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J.