Hitting a Sore Spot

Feb. 25

Readings: 2 Kgs 5:1-15; Lk 4:24-30

"Not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." Lk 4:27

In one of the funniest scenes of the fairy-tale film The Princess Bride, a character called Miracle Max is chased around a room by his wife. Pestering him so that he'll agree to save the hero's life, she follows him, chattering and making an arpeggio of the name of the prince who fired him, "Humperdink ... Humperdink ... Humperdink-Humperdink-Humperdink ... Humper-diii-ink!"
It's not easy to be reminded of our failings. Even as part of a group. But - as in the fairy tale movie - acknowledging and overcoming past failure is the means to the happy ending.

In Luke, before the beginning of today's Gospel reading, Jesus is held in high esteem. "News of Him spread throughout the whole region [Galilee]" and He was "praised by all" (see Lk 4:14-15).

What suddenly soured these locals on Jesus enough to drive Him out of town?
Jesus is portraying Himself as a prophet. And He reminds them that the Israelites didn't have a good track record with the prophets God sent to them. They ignored and abused the prophets.

Then, Jesus implies to these nationalistic Galileans that history will repeat itself. The prophet will be rejected, and blessings offered to Israel will again go to outsiders.

Jesus wasn't rubbing it in. He later weeps, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!" (Lk 13:34).

There's good reason to recognize our failings: we can surrender them to Jesus' mercy.

Dear Lord Jesus, it's difficult for me to look at my failings. Help me to acknowledge my weaknesses so I can turn to You for healing and mercy. Jesus, I trust in You! Amen.

Ps 32:5
Is 6:8-10
Jas 5:16


Diary of St. Faustina
226, 1728

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