Monday of the third week of Lent

Posté par diaconos le 8 mars 2021

Jesus, like Elijah and Elisha, was not sent only to the Jews

Luke 4 24

 # No one is a prophet in his own country. One is usually less successful in one’s own country than elsewhere; it is among one’s own people that one is least likely to be believed, that one imposes the least. Just as they did not believe in the genius of Cambrinus in the past, they will not believe in his glory today, and when the one who wrote these lines goes to drink a pint at the ducasse de Fresnes, they will not hesitate to call him an impostor, as it is true that no one is a prophet in his own country ! – (Charles Deulin, Cambrinus)

Without renouncing the promotion of the one who deserves it, it is preferable, whenever possible, to proceed with the promotion by changing environment, because no one is a prophet in his own country. No one is a prophet, not only in his own country, but also in his own; this is what history teaches us. In my country of Biscay, people find it amusing that I am printed; the further away from home I am discovered, the greater my reputation


From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke

In the synagogue of Nazareth, Jesus said : « Amen, I say to you, no prophet finds a favourable welcome in his own country.  Truly I say to you, in the days of the prophet Elijah, when the heavens withheld rain for three and a half years, and there was a great famine throughout the earth, there were many widows in Israel; yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to the city of Sarepta, in the land of Sidon, to a foreign widow.

In the time of the prophet Elisha there were many lepers in Israel; and none of them was cleansed, but Naaman the Syrian. « At these words all in the synagogue became furious. And they rose up, and thrust Jesus out of the city, and led him up to a steep hill where their city was built, and cast him down. But he, passing through the midst of them, went his way. (Lk 4, 24-30)

No prophet is well received in his own country

No one has more difficulty recognising God’s gifts in a man than those who live familiarly with him. What is before our eyes prevents us from seeing spiritual things : « And they said, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How then does he say, ‘I have come down from heaven?  « (Jn 6, 42)

« No prophet is well received in his own country, but I tell you the truth, as a serious warning, that if this blind country rejects him, others will receive the healing you despise »; and Jesus gave historical evidence of this. To this end, he generalised his thought, which he carried over from Nazareth to the whole of Israel.

Rain was granted to the prophet’s prayer in the third year of the drought. When he said : « Three years and six months, it seemed that Jesus adopted the Jewish tradition which took into account the duration of the famine rather than the drought itself. In fact, the earth could not produce until at least half a year after receiving rain from heaven. Sarepta was a small Phoenician town situated between Tyre and Sidon.

Its name has been preserved in that of Surafend, a village that still recalls the memory of the ancient city. Naaman and the widow of Sarepta were both pagans. Through these examples for Jewish listeners, Jesus wanted to point out this truth: no man, no city, no people has any rights in the favour of God, who is perfectly free in the dispensation of his graces.

And it is through claims to a right, based on external privileges, that man makes himself unworthy of divine blessings. Nazareth is situated on the slope of a mountain where, near the church of the Maronites, a rock face 40 to 50 feet high can still be seen.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊  Reflections on the sacred litury  : click here to read the paper → Monday of the Third Week of Lent

◊ Biblical insights, homilies   : click here to read the paper →   Monday of the Third Week of Lent

   Monday of the Third Week of Lent

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