Jesus of Nazareth was rejected by the Jewish men in Nazareth. Today’s Gospel is the last half of the story of Jesus in the temple where he reads from the scroll of Isaiah 61:1-2. When the people become outraged he begins to give examples of great prophets of Israel who during hard times were sent to care for those the Israelites deemed unclean, the widow in Sidon and the Syrian.
In order to uphold their end of the covenant with God, the Israelites believed they had to remain holy and went about this by adhering to the 613 laws and staying away from those who were unclean or non law abiding. They isolated themselves from the outside world. Jesus reminds them that it was Elijah and Elisha who ministered to these unclean people.
In Exodus 19:6, God calls the Israelites to be a holy nation of priests. Priests are called to go out and minister to everyone for the kingdom of God is for everyone. Jesus came to renew Israel, to usher in a new fulfilled law under the patriarchy of the Apostles.
Although the men in the synagogue this day did not want to hear the message and refused to accept what God wanted them to do, this does not change Jesus’ message for us. We are all baptized priest, prophet, and king. If we are not bringing people to Christ in our own home, do not lose hope. Someone someday will reap the rewards of eternal life because of their interaction with you. Continue to live the faith and pray for the conversion of all.
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