In the Gospel, Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth and spoke in the synagogue on the sabbath day. Unfortunately, His message was not believed and well received by the townsfolk. Their reception was very hurtful and offensive, but Jesus still showed calmness while reproaching them for their unbelief.
I remembered one unforgettable homecoming experience. While I was at home, my uncle entered our house to talk to his mother, my grandmother who was living with us, about certain matters. He was obviously irritated and talked down to his mother in a loud voice. When I saw my grandmother appear hurt and emotional, I immediately intervened to pacify the squabble. I asked my uncle to tone down his voice and told him that there was no need to speak too loud since his mother was just nearby and could hear him well. My uncle got mad and started to throw tough words on me. He even told me that he could not believe that I am a seminarian because I do not act like one. I was so shocked by my uncle’s reaction because I believed I did not say anything wrong for him to throw those hurtful words at me. I was just concerned for my grandmother’s welfare.
I cannot help but relate this homecoming encounter with Jesus’ own experience in the Gospel reading. Like Jesus, from His townsfolk, I also received hurtful words from familiar people. I am reminded that in my future ministry, I may encounter people who would not believe me and would just throw criticisms at me. These may even come from those who think they know me well. May Jesus help me to always respond to hurtful encounters with love, patience, and humility.
By: Sem. Eric Yabut
Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Rolling up the scroll,
he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?”
He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb,
‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’”
And he said,
“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.