Oh, the fickleness of the human heart!
We hear once again Jesus saying: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” Then Luke adds: “All spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.” I think that Luke was exaggerating when he said “all” for all immediately some in the crowd were suspicious of the hometown boy made good. “Isn’t the son of Joseph?” What is he doing attributing the description of the Messiah in Isaiah to himself?
Jesus doesn’t help matters any by pointing out that foreigners rather the residents of Israel were singled out for miracles in the past. The result? The “all spoke highly of him” becomes “they were all filled with fury”, drove him out of the town and wanted to kill him.
We oftentimes behave in the same way. For instance we question a person’s credentials when he or she points out that we could do things differently. Someone will say: “Who died and made you boss?” Sometimes we question a person’s academic achievements because they didn’t graduate from a famous university with a Ph.D. but from a lesser known college with only a B.A.. We take into consideration peoples’ age, gender, race, religion, and/or political leanings when we decide to listen to them or dismiss their thoughts and opinions.
How often are we filled with fury instead of praise; with anger instead of humility; with closed ears instead of open minds and hearts?
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, C, 2016