Jesus went to his hometown and taught the people in their synagogue. They were amazed and said, «Where did He get this wisdom and these special powers? Isn't He the carpenter's son? Isn't Mary his mother and aren't James, Joseph, Simon and Judas his brothers? Aren't all his sisters living here? How did he get all this?». And so they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, «The only place where prophets are not welcome is their hometown and in their own family». And He did not perform many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
Many of us get disappointed with in ourselves, because our own people have rejected us and refused to believe us. We live in a very rude world. Certainly yes, however, in this world we are called to be soft and gentile, so that this world may be converted and believe in the Gospel.
We should be very much aware that we live in the world, which rejects everything that does not suit it, even if it is from the son of the soil. There is a plenty of jealousy and anger. They fail not only to realise what is good in us, rather make a mockery of our good will.
Jesus is rejected by His own people and he becomes aware of the situation and we are called to be aware of the present situation. We should gracefully accept that all are not with us. This self-awareness will help us to discern the divine will, particularly in a difficult moment of life.
In the face of rejection, of failure, we are invited to look at Jesus and learn from Him how to live through this difficult moment in a peaceful and pleasant way, and to discover joy in our sorrow. Jesus does not look at Himself, and enter into self-pity, rather He looks at the people with compassion and love. He is sad that they are not able to profit from Him. When we learn to look with compassion and love, there won't be judgement and accusation.
By this behaviour in the face of this rejection, He will teach the people how to discern in their daily lives, ignoring the negative and useless comments, and prioritising the essential. He will not be conditioned by these comments, rather inspired by love, he will continue his mission elsewhere.
Action of the day: Ignore the negative commentary and continue your good work.
«The only place where prophets are not welcome is their hometown and in their own family»
Fr. Jordi POU i Sabater
(Sant Jordi Desvalls, Girona, Spain)
Today, as in yesteryears, to speak about God to those we know is a difficult thing to do. In a commentary about Jesus, St. John Chrysostom says: «The villagers of Nazareth do admire him, but their admiration does not go to the point of believing in him but, rather, of feeling envious, as if meaning: ‘Why him and not I’». Jesus knew quite well those who, instead of listening to him, took offense at him. They were his relatives, friends, neighbors He appreciated, but precisely to whom He will not be able to let them have his message of salvation.
We —that cannot work out miracles or have Christ's saintliness— will not incite envies (though, at times, if we are really trying to live as true Christians, we may actually do). However, come what may, we shall often find that those we love the most are those who could not care less about listening to us. To this effect, we must also bear in mind that shortcomings are easier to spot than virtues and, accordingly, those closer to us may wonder: —What are you trying to teach me, who used to do (or still does) this or that?
To preach or speak about God with our own people or family may be difficult but necessary. It must be said that when He was going back home, Jesus was preceded by his miracles and his word. Maybe, in our case, we may need a certain reputation for saintliness, whether at home or away, before “preaching” to those at home.
In his previous comment St. John Chrysostom adds: «Please look at the Master's kindness: He does not punish them for not listening to him but He tells them sweetly: ‘The only place where prophets are not welcome is their hometown and in their own family’» (Mt 13:57)». It is evident Jesus would leave somewhat sadly but nonetheless He would proceed with his preaching until his word of salvation would be welcome by his own people. Likewise, we (that have nothing to forgive or oversee) will have to preach so that Jesus' word reaches those that we love but do not want to listen to us.