on his terms
"At these words the whole audience in the synagogue was filled with indignation. They rose up and expelled Him from the town." —Luke 4:28-29
Jesus' hometown folk accepted Him as Teacher and Healer (see Lk 4:22ff). But Jesus wanted to serve His hometown by being a Prophet. However, "no prophet gains acceptance in his native place" (Lk 4:24). Like the people of Nazareth, many of us also refuse to accept Jesus on His terms.
Soon, on the first day of the Easter season, all Catholics of the world will be given the opportunity and the challenge to renew their baptismal promises. The heart of these promises is to accept Jesus on His terms. Jesus' terms are focused on the cross. Jesus wants us to come to Him first of all to carry the crosses of repentance, forgiveness, sacrifice, evangelization, service, persecution, and other forms of love. While Jesus wants to bless us with happiness, success, and healing, He usually wants to give these blessings to His disciples in the shadow of the cross.
Will we accept Jesus on His terms? Will we resolve to know nothing "but Jesus Christ and Him crucified"? (1 Cor 2:2) Will we decide to carry our crosses daily? (see Lk 9:23) Or will we try to throw Jesus over "the brow of the hill" (Lk 4:29), recrucify Him, and hold Him up to contempt? (Heb 6:6)
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit to convict me (see Jn 16:8) of the sin of trying to make Jesus in my image.
Promise: "So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times at the word of the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." —2 Kgs 5:14
Praise: Praying the stations of the cross helps Anita to keep her own sufferings in perspective.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tapes on Baptismal Promises on audio AV 83-1, AV 83-3, AV 84-1, AV 84-3 or our two-tape video series starting with V-83.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003