Today’s Gospel follows last Sunday’s when Jesus solemnly announced the fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah’s text concerning the identity and the evangelizing mission of the Anointed one of God.
When Jesus came back to His hometown, He may not be wearing new clothes, but there was something different about Him. And as He preached, the people were astonished by the gracious words that came from His lips.
But the people didn’t want, or didn’t accept, that something has changed in that there is something different about Jesus.
For them, He was still the son of Joseph the carpenter. And they don’t expect the son of a carpenter to preach or teach, and with such gracious words.
Jesus was aware of their biasness and their mindset, and so He brought up two instances when God Himself did the unexpected for outsiders, outsiders who are not of the Chosen People.
God blessed the widow of the Sidonian town, and He granted a healing to Naaman the Syrian. Of course, the people were offended and even and enraged, and they couldn’t take it anymore from Jesus, and they even wanted to get rid of Him immediately.
Obviously, the people’s minds were closed, and they were offended by what Jesus said although it was the truth. But closed minds are like stagnant water. Over time it will become polluted and unpleasant.
The gospel account shows how people’s minds can be closed up and they can even turn violent when offended. But the prophetic voice of the Gospel is also sounding out to us about certain aspects of ourselves.
When we are told about certain aspects of ourselves which seems unfavorable to us and disturbs us, what will be our reaction? We may cringe and feel offended, which was how the people in the gospel reacted. Even though it could be the truth, it could also sting our hearts and minds.
And then we might just busy ourselves feeling offended and even be obsessed with it. Our minds and hearts become like stagnant water that is getting polluted and toxic.
Jesus came to bring us the truth of love, and the truth will set us free when we want to stop feeling offended and be free from being obsessed by it.
The 2nd reading tells us that love does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delight in the truth.
May the truth of God’s love heal us of our resentment and set us free from sin, so that with a renewed mind and heart we can be prophets proclaiming the truth of God’s healing love.