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Mass prep 30 seconds/3 points: Why is Nazareth a tragic city?


Photo Courtesy of Sr. Amata CSFN

Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik - published on 01/29/22

The people who grew up around Jesus were the ones who wanted to throw him over a cliff.

The Gospel for this Sunday isLuke 4:21–30.

1. The City of Nazareth

“Nazareth” sounds a bit sentimental and idyllic. Jesus grew up there. That is where the Holy Family lived. Yet, the truth about Nazareth is full of tragedy, as today’s Gospel shows.

2. Key Words

No prophet is accepted in his own native place.

Jesus knows it is hardest for a prophet to be among his own people, among those with whom he grew up. Nevertheless, Jesus has the courage to express uncomfortable truth. He reminds us that God worked miracles for Gentiles, not for Israelites. This infuriated his acquaintances to the point that they even wanted to kill him.

They 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.

Can we imagine Jesus being led to his death by his acquaintances, those with whom he had played since childhood and among whom he had grown up? To this day, the cliff in Nazareth is pointed to as the mountain from which they wanted to throw Jesus down. Not strangers or occupying Romans but his acquaintances wanted to murder him in such a terrible way. This shows who the people living in Nazareth were. Nathanael rightly said, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?!”

God precisely chose this town so that the Son of God would grow among these people. He did not choose a tranquil environment, but an exceedingly difficult and even, as we see, violent one. God Himself enters and dwells in the most difficult place, where life is not easy and pleasant. In this way, God seeks those who are far away.

3. Today

What every man needs so much today is sensitivity to God, to His word written in the Bible. It is like an instruction manual for life, so that life can be happy. Just like in the synagogue in Nazareth, today Jesus speaks like a prophet to each of us in the Gospel.

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