Our Gospel story today comes from Luke 4:21–30. The church gave us just a snippet of what was said at the end of last week’s Gospel. “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” The quote Jesus was referring to came from Isaiah 61:1–2 a. It’s the one where Isaiah tells the people that captives will be set free and those that are ill or handicapped will be made whole.
When Jesus told them he was the fulfillment of this promise, they were not too happy. They asked themselves questions like: “Isn’t this the son of a carpenter? How could this be? We all know this man. He grew up right down the street. ” When Jesus challenges them with hard facts, they become extremely angry. They revolt against him and drive him to the edge of town, where they try to push him off a cliff. Scripture then says, “But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.”
We all know how the story ends. A short time later, Jesus is crucified. Thank God we no longer have to face this kind of martyrdom in our world. However, we might have to face what’s called “white martyrdom.” “White martyrdom” is when we stand up for something we believe in and those around us turn against us. It hurts that the people we associate with are unwilling to give us a chance. Sometimes, even if people do pay attention, we will feel we are accomplishing nothing.
We cannot let these setbacks discourage us from spreading the message of Jesus. As baptized Christians, we are called to tell everyone about God’s great gifts. It will not be easy. We cannot let that get in the way. God does not ask us to be successful, only that we keep trying.
Peace and All Good!