He came to his hometown and began to teach the people[a] in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” 58 And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.-Matthew 54-58 NRSV
Our Lord Was Without Honor In His Hometown
The Gospel from today’s Mass is very powerful. Jesus is in the middle of his public ministry. He has healed the blind, raised the dead, and did many other miracles. Our Lord was known all through Israel, but in his hometown they didn’t believe him.
The people in the village watched him grow up. They witnessed St. Joseph training him to be a carpenter. Most likely they witnessed whatever childhood injuries he may have had. They didn’t believe that he was the second person of the blessed Trinity come in the flesh.
Life Of Faith
What does this have to do with you and I? A lot actually. Most, if not all, of us have this desire to be liked. Sometimes when we follow the Lord this will not be the case. Our Lord warned us about this in so many ways, but today’s Gospel gives us a personal example. It is the example of the Lord himself. He was not honored even though he did all these great things.
Maybe you recently joined the church and some of your family and friends stopped talking with you. I would like to say that this is unusual, but it also happened to me. Some see the life that you used to live and compare it to the life you live now. They see how the grace of Christ radically transformed you into an on fire follower, but they still see the bad things you did. In that way you are not welcomed in your hometown, just like our Lord wasn’t.
It is easy to hang our head and get down about this. It is hard, but the Lord is with us. He promised that he will never leave us nor forsake us. Live the faith, follow Christ, and frequent the sacraments. Be there for those who will not welcome you. The witness of your life will speak volumes, and at some point you may get questions. This is a great evangelism opportunity. Keep your head up. It is an honor to suffer for Christ.
It is absolutely necessary, both for our advancement and the salvation of others, to follow always and in all things the beautiful light of faith. – St. Vincent de Paul
You are the salt of the earth! You are the light of the world! See to it that the people are edified by your example, by the purity of your lives, by the moderation of your conduct, and the brilliance of your holiness! God does not ask of you mere ordinary virtue. He demands downright perfection! – Pope St. Pius V
When we have to reply to some one who speaks harshly to us, we must always do it with gentleness. If we are angry, it is better to keep silence. – St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori