“They rose up, drove him out of the town.”

Speaking in a synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth, Jesus relates two Old Testament events to prove His assertion that a prophet is not accepted in his native place (Lk 4:24-30).  His reminding them of the healings of foreigners Naaman the Syrian and the widow of Zarephath bring the assembly to fury such that they drive Jesus to the brow of a hill with the intention of throwing Him off.  But He simply passes through them and goes away.  Some things don’t change.  In fact they accelerate.  Jesus, more and more, is being driven out of countries explicitly or through suppression of His Church.  We must speak out against these pogroms.  Unfortunately, attacks on religious freedom are not just in far away areas of the East and Middle East.  Even some Western countries have come against Christ hard.  We must pay attention to these issues, making our presence known forcefully by getting involved, urging elected officials to act and vote morally, and electing representatives who uphold Catholic values.  But, reform begins at home.  If we push Christ out of areas in our lives, we will not be convincing or effective in changing the culture and ultimately the world.  Is Jesus driven out of the bedroom?  Is He unwelcome in our coffee klatch?  Or maybe in the workplace?  Or when we are in public places?  We must be so immersed in the Spirit of Christ that all that we do is a clear indication to whom we pledge our allegiance.  Our joy and hope (gaudium et spes) will be an encouragement to others and reveal the light of Christ to all whom we encounter (cf. Mt 5:15, Lk 11:33).  We can change the world for the Lord, because “for God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26).

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