Below is the e-Update for March 2013, a recap of all of the items you may have missed but which are still relevant from the past month or so. We hope you'll take a few moments today or later this week to review them and use them as you see fit. Additionally, I have posted today's reflection from this year's Lenten booklet from Megan McKenna as a little e-Update bonus. Thanks!
Reflection for Monday, March 4, 2013
by Megan McKenna, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
2 Kings 5:1-15 | Luke 4:24-30
"No prophet gains acceptance in his native place" (Luke 4:24).
Today we meet the prophet Elisha who goes to an army commander, Naaman, and tells him how he can be healed, but it entails doing some things that are repugnant: going to an enemy, heeding a slave girl, and washing himself in a foreign river. And we meet the prophet Jesus, in his hometown at the beginning of his preaching, when he runs afoul of his own people because they don't approve of his words. Jesus reminds them that in their history the Word of God sent Elijah to a widow of Zarephath (not a widow in Israel) and sent Elisha to a leper in an enemy territory to show forth the glory of God. And he aligns himself with these ancient, towering figures of Israel and declares that his own town and people are rejecting him in the same way. His words stung: "No prophet gains acceptance in his native place" (Luke 4:24). The reaction is furious and swift. The good people at worship on the Sabbath are filled with indignation, and they rise up together suddenly, united in anger, and intend to hurl him over the edge of the hill on the outskirts of town. Luke's gospel begins with Jesus' own intending to kill him because of his words and ends with the actual murder in collusion with any and all who will help get rid of this prophet who sears them with the truth.
Thomas Merton has an interesting statement that can help us to face the reality of the shallowness and selectiveness of our own lives of faith and that, if we are honest, can at least help us begin to take the prophet Jesus' words to heart. He says: "For every gain in deep certitude there is a corresponding growth of superficial 'doubt.' This doubt is by no means opposed to genuine faith, but it mercilessly examines and questions the spurious 'faith' of everyday life, the human faith which is nothing but the passive acceptance of conventional opinion." Prophets appear-as with Jesus and those among us today-when things are getting desperate for those who are poor and the major stumbling block has become those who consider themselves believers-and others the problem. And this is true today, among us as well. What if this Jesus told us these things to our face?
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