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.
Rejection is no fun. It isn’t for you and me, and it wasn’t for Jesus. Jesus was rejected by a number of Jewish leaders, scribes and Pharisees, but here it’s different, more personal: He’s rejected by the hometown folk, his relatives, his own family.
It’s not always easy being a faith-filled Christian, a faithful Catholic in our culture. Sometimes you may be looked down upon, felt to be not sophisticated. “They took offense at Him”… at you. But…you see something (Someone) and you’ve experienced something (Someone) that the others, well, just haven’t. That Someone is wonderful.
St. Ignatius asks us to identify with Christ, experience what he experienced. At times, Christ experienced rejection, even by those close to him, so why shouldn’t we? Maybe that’s a sign that we’re truly becoming his disciples.
—Fr. Mark Henninger, SJ, is a spiritual care chaplain at Loyola University Medical Centerin Maywood, IL.
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