He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?”
And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went about among the villages teaching.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Quite often, those who know us best are also those who have known us the longest. When Jesus returns to his“native place”the people he has known for so long barely recognize the man they see preaching in the synagogue. They question him and they doubt him.
This story really shows what Jesus was up against as he took up his life of ministry—he was rejected by people he knew well and cared for, simply because of his dedication to the mission given to him by God. Of course, that was only the beginning of his many sacrifices made for us. What rejection and sacrifice am I willing to endure in order to give greater glory to God?
—Connor Walters is a communications coordinator at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland. He also coaches rowing and co-moderates the school’s Saint Benedict Joseph Labre Ministry to the Homeless.
Lord, when we are accused of self-seeking motives or when our vision and actions are denounced as mediocre or even ridiculous, help us not to fold. If we move in your truth with a humility to serve, bolster our conviction to do what is right in the right way.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team