3rd Week of Lent, Monday

Our Lord’s hostile reception in his home town today reminds us that, as Our Lord taught us, those who do the will of God are his family, not just those who’ve met him and lived with him. We often ask people to pray for intentions on our behalf, and that is good and noble, but we must also pray and have faith. The people of Nazareth wanted to be impressed, but Our Lord taught them that the real welcome he expected was a welcome of faith. They knew him, but they didn’t believe in him or who sent him.

It is ironic that in the end they treated him exactly like Israel had treated prophets in the past who told them something they didn’t want to accept. Perhaps it was a sign of presumed self-importance that they thought they could throw a prophet off a cliff, but Jesus’ mission was too important to be thwarted in a little town like Nazareth. In our family of faith, even today, there are cynics and skeptics regarding Our Lord, and challenging them provokes a similar reaction.

Lent is a time to truly welcome Jesus he is by striving to be as he wants us to be. Let’s examine ourselves and see what he wants us to change in our lives.

Readings: 2 Kings 5:1–15ab; Psalm 42:2–3, 43:3–4; Luke 4:24–30. See also 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B17th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday, and 22nd Week in Ordinary Time, Monday.