Today’s gospel reading is very dramatic! After Jesus reads from the prophet Isaiah and says the scripture reading is fulfilled, everyone was happy and excited at first, but it seems that human pride began to take over the people. Some were questioning him. “Isn’t he the son of a carpenter?” Do we not know who his family is? When questions like this arise, it means that they see themselves better than he does. But when you look at everything that has happened in the old testament, the Jewish people are slow to believe in things and when they turn away from God, that’s when God must send something to them to get them to turn away from sinfulness. Jesus tells them “no prophet is accepted in his own native place.” How many times does God send someone in your life now to get you to turn away from your own poison? God wants you to be in heaven with Him If you are a big sinner, he may even send a sickness or hard times your way so that you may repent and turn back to him. Stop holding on to your selfishness. God is for everyone! Not just the Jews, Christians and Muslims, but for all his creation. “But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Eli′jah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Eli′jah was sent to none of them but only to Zar′ephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Eli′sha; and none of them was cleansed, but only Na′aman the Syrian.” God has the right to choose who he wants to help and who he wants to save. Na’aman the Syrian didn’t want to bathe in the Jordan river. But his servant pleaded with him and he did what the prophet told him, and his skin was cleansed and became as soft as a new born baby. We can’t explain why God shows mercy to some and to others it seems he doesn’t hear them. What we need to strive for as individuals is to focus on our personal resolve and work towards a higher level of holiness. They wanted to stone him and lead him to the edge of town, but because it wasn’t his time, he passed through the crowds and left the town. Would we stone Jesus? If he appeared right now and told everyone that the level of evil is too much and we need to turn away from sins before the Final Judgement, would you turn away from your sins? God continues to use people and even send his Mother to the earth calling us to conversion. St. Augustine of Hippo preached that the ways of the world are following in the foolishness of the devil. He too was once turned away from God and joined a cult. But because his poor Mother prayed for him for seventeen years, he was touched by the grace of God and become one of the Church Fathers. Oh, how he realized how much he made his mother suffer. Now she was just a human being. Do you not think your own sinfulness offends a perfect God? God loves you but he is not to be taken likely. If you reject God, you will be eternally separated from him and you will suffer torment and punishment for all of eternity. Stop painting God in your own image and read the Bible, learn the lesson from the Church Fathers, read the old testament prophets and you will see God is a God of mercy, but also a God of Perfect Justice. Let us not keep God for ourselves in our personal box but allow him to work in us and in the world.