Jesus said, “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. (Luke 4:25-29)
Last Sunday we read that the Lord Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth and announced to the faithful Jews in His hometown that He is the Messiah.
We might think that this dramatic revelation would have led to immediate euphoria. We might think that, when the Messiah revealed Himself to the people who had known Him since He was a boy, everybody would have believed, and rejoiced, and smiled, and hugged, and said nice things about each other.
But this is not what happened. The people in the synagogue doubted. “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”
I woke up this morning feeling basically okay with myself. But then I discovered that I agree with Ken Woodward…(If the comic strips appearing here are too small for you to read, you can see a larger size by clicking on it.)
…According to the Law of Moses, capital crimes were to be punished by stoning to death.
The first stones were to be cast by the witnesses upon whose testimony the guilty party was convicted. Then everyone else could join in the stoning. By this violent act, the injustice of the crime would be purged from the nation.
God is perfectly just. He examines every heart. Before Him, no one is innocent.
But He has not cast a stone and done violence to the guilty ones. Rather, He subjected Himself to violence at the hands of the unjust.
By this violent act, our injustice is purged. We are not condemned to death.
God restores justice; we are pardoned; we may live.
…Here is a little compendium of my sermons on the seven deadly sins…
Lent is a special time for us to do battle with sin. The Lord pours out special graces during these forty days, so that we can become holier. Today let’s focus on the vices of anger and lust.
The most famous verse in the Bible: God so loved the world that He gave His only Son (John 3:16). The Lord would have been justified in condemning the human race long ago. He would have been within His rights to visit His rage upon the earth. But pity stays His hand. He waits patiently for us to repent.
Patience is the proof of love. The Sacred Heart of Christ is a bottomless well of patience. The Lord patiently submitted Himself to unjust men and then bore the bitterness of His Passion without complaint.