Monday of the Third Week of Lent
The faith is wisdom and power
And he said: “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, 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. But he passed through the midst of them and went away. Lk 4,24-30
His fellow citizens of Nazareth had no problem to recognize Jesus as a divine wisdom and power, which were manifested in the miracles. What they could not understand it is why God was fully and completely revealed in that son of a carpenter and Mary, for whom they knew everything since he was a child. This is the scandal which the people of Nazareth did not accept and which we too, despite his death on the cross and resurrection, risk not to concur with. But it is precisely in his incarnation in Jesus that the full freedom of God is thereby manifested. God, as announced by the today’s gospel, is free to send Elijah only to a widow of Zarephath of Sidon and to cure, amidst many lepers, only Naaman the Syrian. It is also difficult for us to accept that God revealed completely in a very small piece of human history, how is the family of Nazareth. It is much easier to see it in the harmony of the universe, in the wonders of the nature or in the events of the history, but God is not objectified in the history as the “absolute spirit of Hegel”. God, in his freedom, thought to live (the word “objectivity” would be wrong) in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. We, like his fellow citizens, have only one way to overcome this scandal: the faith. The higher we make the leap in the faith, the more scenarios of wisdom and unimaginable potential will be disclosed to us. If we open ourselves totally to the gospel, we can understand unsuspicious truths and operate unimaginable miracles, but not due to our work: it will always be the Lord to act through us. We praise God for this strategy for the salvation of the man, because if he would have freeded and saved us without going through the person and the story of Jesus of Nazareth, he would have given to us only one more ideology. The faith is another thing.