By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: March 16, 2020
March 16, 2020

Gospel LK 4:24-30

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
“Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

Reflection

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
“Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”

The Jews of Jesus’ time saw themselves as special in God’s eyes; they were convinced that they were “God’s chosen people.” (Deuteronomy 7:6)

In today’s gospel Jesus reminds His fellow Jews that although there were many starving widows in Israel during the great famine, God sent Elijah to a “widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.” He ignored the many lepers in Israel and healed the leper “Naaman the Syrian.”

When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.

Within all of us there is a need to feel special. But the comment, “You were Mom’s favorite” can create jealousy and resentment within families. The results can be anything from simple gossiping about their sibling to something as serious as ostracizing a family member.

Each child in a family, because of their own gifts and qualities, is “special” to their mother and father.

In today’s gospel Jesus is not challenging the Jews’ claim to being “special”.

Instead, He is telling them and us that we are each “special” in the eyes of God.

“Leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”  Matthew 5:24 (ESV)



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