Saturday, July 03, 2021

Jesus is rejected in His hometown.

"Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!" (Mark 6: 1 - 2).

Sunday 4th July 2021,in the 14th Week in Ordinary Time.

Jesus returned to Nazareth His hometown. On the Sabbath, He was in the Synagogue with His disciples. The congregation was astonished by His masterful teaching. Then came the disparaging remark. 'Is he not the carpenter? His mother is Mary. Right?' We may ask: Do people expect their leaders or teachers to come from the aristocracy with Harvard or Oxford credentials? 

Our First Reading from Ezekiel 2: 2 - 5 anticipates Jesus experience by 600 years after the priest-prophet was sent to the exiled Israelites in Babylon. 
"Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day." (Ezekiel 2: 3).
The reputation for rejection of the messengers of God is nothing new to Israel. Unlike Ezekiel and other prophets of Israel, Jesus might have come to the people as a former carpenter without the highly esteemed rabbinical education like Gamaliel and Paul, but Jesus came with impeccable credentials that His foes cannot deny or overlook. Jesus taught with wisdom and not like the rabbis. And "What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!" (Mark 6: 2).

What are the lessons for the followers of Christ from the Scriptures this 14th Sunday of the Year? A true disciple should not expect praise or honor from any quarters. Because:
"Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6: 2).

Jesus knew what His true disciples would face in their calling:
"Those who would be My adorers must consent to live in My tabernacle, hidden with Me and, at the same time, loving as I love: loving the Father as I love Him, loving souls as I love them, suffering coldness, rejection, misunderstanding and abandonment with Me and for Me." (IN SINU JESU).

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