He 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! Is he not the carpenter, the son of
Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and
Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here
with us?" And they took offense at him. Jesus said
to them, "A prophet is not without honor except
in his native place and among his own kin and
in his own house." So he was not able
to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing
a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith. He
went around to the villages in the vicinity teaching.
Prayer: O Lord, you said that blest are they
who find no stumbling block in you. I want
to be a blest person, so that you may
find in me no obstacle to the holiness you want
for me. I believe in you, but I long
for a greater faith to see and respond to the
signs of your hand moving in my world. I
love you, Lord, and wish to lead my brothers and
sisters to you through my testimony, through my being
truly convinced that you are the life of men.
Petition: Lord, grant me the gift of total surrender
to your will for me in all things.
did this man get all this? What mighty deeds are
wrought by his hands.” How beautiful it is to
contemplate the humble and meek Christ! He now
manifests, to the shock and awe of the worldly-minded, the
signs of his true origin and the nature of
his true mission. The power of God, the power of
the supernatural, now intervenes in what is merely natural
through the mere “carpenter’s son.” The “signs of credibility”
that Christ enacts through his mighty words and deeds
powerfully point to his divine origins and invite his contemporaries
to faith. It is an invitation to leave
behind them the superficial category of Jesus as just a
nice neighbor (which means they can live the same
as before) and receive the gift of Christ as
Redeemer (which means change and conversion). Are there signs in
my life that the Lord is looking to change
me, to change my behavior in some way so I
might live more by faith and charity? How much
longer will I resist before I will am won
over by his goodness?
2. “And they
took offense at him.” It is a sacrifice to give
God his place in the ordinary flow of our
day. To do so, we need to sacrifice our sense
of self-sufficiency, by which we are inclined to be
the prime mover of everything in our world. We need
to sacrifice our vanity, which desists from efforts to
adore God since they bring little or no applause
from those around us. We need to sacrifice the comfort
of our naturalism, our horizontal view of things. Ultimately
this sacrifice is a work of love responding to
a divine invitation to share in God’s life––love, because
he is asking and wants to see us giving. Let
us move our hearts to embrace this sacrifice joyfully,
for the sake of love. It helps to see that
in this passage there are no neutral states. Those
who reject the invitation to love are turned to
love’s opposite––hate, specifically the hatred of the supernatural. It
is a tragedy at work in our culture in many
places, giving rise to the forces of anti-evangelization. Let
us pray and be vigilant that it may never
become our tragedy.
3. “He was not able to perform any
mighty deed there.” Our Lord makes himself vulnerable to us,
to our willingness to believe. He comes only to
make us happy and to elevate our lives to be
more beautiful, deeper in meaning and richer in fruits.
He wants to bring into our life his power
to work miracles and to move mountains of fear and
burdens that we encounter. He comes to be ointment
for our wounds and consolation for our weary hearts.
The only thing he needs to make us happy, then,
is our faith, our unconditional and active faith. Without
it (since he respects our freedom), we cripple his
capacity to act in our life as Savior and Lord.
How sad it is to see how easily we
refuse such a selfless and beautiful gift.
Christ: Lord, teach me to receive you with a
heart ready to leave my rationalistic way of acting
and choosing. Help me to know how to read
your invitations with supernatural faith and to follow them in
true obedience, where true love proves itself.
Resolution: I will be very obedient to the lights
I receive today from the Holy Spirit, acting on
them with promptness and generosity.