Preaching Luke

Gerald O’Collins SJ

Facing the truth
(Luke 4.16–30)
Sometimes people don’t like being reminded of the truth. That’s what Jesus does in today’s Gospel. He reminds the people of Nazareth of the truth, or rather of two truths. During a dreadful drought, Elijah had taken care of a foreigner, a widow in Sidon. Then his prophetic successor, Elisha, did not cure any lepers in Israel but he did cure a foreigner from Syria, Naaman.

The people of Nazareth did not like being reminded of these traditions found in their sacred Scriptures, traditions about two great prophets through whom God showed special care for a Gentile woman and the Syrian general Naaman.

The people of Jesus’ home town hated facing the truth about God’s love for outsiders. Their anger boiled up and they tried to murder Jesus.

It’s so real this story. We human beings can become pretty angry when reminded of the truth. Let’s pray to be ready to face the truth, whether it is Jesus himself who reminds us of the truth or someone else who does so. Let us pray that we may constantly be given the courage to hear the truth, face the truth, and act accordingly.

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