"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." Lk 4:30
The setting of today's gospel is astounding. Imagine it. Jesus, preaching in his hometown synagogue, has been very direct with his neighbors, castigating them for not accepting him as a prophet, and reminding them that other prophets suffered the same fate. Hurt and angry at what they perceived as a slight, his community drives him out of town. Were they literally chasing him, forcing him to run away? Would they have actually hurled him over the hill and into oblivion? The gospel tells us that Jesus was able to slip through the crowd and escape. It almost sounds like a James Bond movie. People intent on murder, which was not justified by the Torah or Roman law, and the prophet finding a way to avoid capture.
Clearly, the gospel writer wants his readers to know how much danger Jesus was willing to submit to in order to do his Father's will, and how angry the crowds were with him. Truth can do that to people. Truth drove Jesus to tell the truth, and the truth about their unwillingness to change so upset the people that they drove him out of town.
When we don't listen to common sense, to the law of God and to our own best instincts, when we refuse to listen to those with whom we disagree or dislike, we risk not hearing and responding to the God who lives at the center of every ordinary event and moment of our lives.
Today, listen to someone who annoys you.
Are there any difficult people or situations from whom you learned more than you expected?