Despised by his own people
July 08, 2018 Sunday, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Ezk 2:2-5
2nd Reading: 2 Cor 12:7-10
Gospel: Mk 6:1-6
Jesus returned to his own country, and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath came, he began teaching in the synagogue, and most of those who heard him were astonished. They commented, “How did this come to him? What kind of wisdom has been given to him that he also performs such miracles? Who is he but the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joset and Judas and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here among us?” So they took offense at him.
And Jesus said to them, “Prophets are despised only in their own country, among their relatives and in their own family.” And he could work no miracles there, but only healed a few sick people by laying his hands on them. Jesus himself was astounded at their unbelief.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The Jews in the neighbourhood of Nazareth rejected Jesus not for being a violator of laws but for being a son of a carpenter. They have heard his wonderful teachings, seen his marvellous works of healing, and have experienced his charitable works. St. Matthew wrote: “When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:28). The Scribes merely derived authority from the handed-down traditions which they literally taught to the people. In contrast, Jesus’ authority was inherent in his words, as when he commanded a paralyzed man to stand up and walk, and directed the dead man Lazarus to come out from his grave.
This authority notwithstanding, they still rejected Jesus for being the carpenter’s son. “Who is he but the carpenter, the son of Mary?” they inquired. For this they took offense at him. They laid more emphasis on his family status instead of crediting to him the mighty works of his healing hands and the power of his words. Their rejection, however, failed to limit possibilities for Jesus. He broke loose from prejudices and spread his wings beyond his hometown to accomplish his mission. He found the resistance of his neighbourhood too insignificant to his mission. Without making a big issue about his experience of rejection, he moved out from Nazareth and transferred to Capernaum.
What happened to Jesus can also happen to us in many ways. For example, people can mark us for past mistakes to the effect that no matter what good we do in the present the branding remains. Like Jesus let us break loose from public bias, spread our wings and move on. — (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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