Fr. Kurian KollapallilThe story of Jesus’s rejection in his own town is a classic one. It is a story that most of us can identify with because it is a story that has happened to most of us. The people of our home town know us too well, and therefore they simply cannot accept. At times anyway they fail to listen to the wisdom and accept the words of grace, love and encouragement we offer, because they are too familiar with us. They may say, “I know him well” the boy who used to leave his dirty socks sitting on the kitchen table, or the girl who used to skip school and go hanging around the mall. Can he or she be the God’s appointed instrument, the agent of God’s healing and saving grace for them?

The worst criticisms will rise from the people who know and love you most. Thinking about the renunciation of the saving grace by your loved ones, their lack of encouragement and support, their skeptical criticisms will give you the most pain. Sometimes, it will be the sad and heart breaking experience for a life time.

People of Jesus’s home town refused to listen to Jesus. They rejected him, because of their knowledge of him as a youth at Nazareth. They couldn’t accept and recognize God’s power in him as an adult. The people were wondering where “this upstart Jesus” got all this wisdom and teaching. They rejected him and as a result Jesus couldn’t perform any mighty deeds there.

Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.“ The story of the rejection of Jesus among his own people because of their familiarity with Him is also the story about how conveniently we sometime ignore and reject God. It is the result of self-trust, pride, and overconfidence. Individual’s unwillingness to submit to God and the teachings of the Church even in some of the simple matters, arise from the self-assumed certainties, knowledge and pride. The world teaches that we can help ourselves, that we can do what we need to do on our own and that all the answers we need we can find in ourselves. Or what we do not know the ‘Google’ will provide. Then the questions arises, why should we trust in God? What is the proof that there is a God? And the Individual claim: ‘It is good for you to believe what you want, leave me alone.

God gives us His message through our nearest and dearest and our neighbors and coworkers. Since God uses them as His prophets to convey His message to us, it is our duty to acknowledge and honor them. God   calls us to be prophets like Jesus, sharing his prophetic mission. The task of a prophet is to speak God’s truth. We must never be afraid of this call.  We may rely on Jesus to supply us with the courage to oppose the many evils in our society. We need to speak the truth of Christ with love, never being hypocritical or disrespectful. We must never remain silent in the face of evil for fear of being thought “politically incorrect.” Jesus was not against conflict if it promoted truth. He taught us to give respect and freedom without condoning or encouraging sinful behavior.

“We would always like to have a little consolation, a little sugar in our tea, that is to say, the feeling of love and tenderness, and consequently consolation and in like manner we would much wish to be without imperfections; but we must have patience to belong to human nature, and not to angelic nature.” St. Francis De Sales