“I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.” Luke 4:24
Today Jesus tells the people in the synagogue in Nazara, that a prophet is never welcomed at home. As if to prove the point, the crowd become so enraged by his words they hustle Jesus out of town and try to kill him. But he manages to slip away.
This story of those with local knowledge, cultural history and wisdom being ignored or dismissed continues today. Indigenous people suffer escalating threats to their rights, land, culture and lives.
In Honduras, Juana, an indigenous leader, explains how community members in the village of Guapinol have peacefully stood up against the contamination of their rivers by a mining company. They were violently removed from a camp they had set up to defend the water – their source of life. Eight people are still in detention, falsely accused of various crimes.
Juana says, “The situation in Honduras is very serious. It’s a country in which defending human rights, defending the environment, defending life, defending the rights of indigenous peoples, is to put our lives at grave risk.”
Indigenous people have important voices that we need to hear. There are so many other groups of people who also struggle to make their voices heard in our world. People living in poverty, with a disability, people who are marginalised, persecuted or oppressed.
The truth is sometimes difficult to accept. It can make us uncomfortable or confront us with something we have done wrong. Once we have heard the truth, we can never unhear it and we might be forced to change.
Sometimes the truth is hard to listen to because of who is trying to tell us this truth. Let us think today about who we dismiss as not worth listening to, and why we feel this way.
Then let us try to open our ears to hear those same voices, to be moved and changed by the truth.