Friday, August 2, 2013

"And they took offense at him."

Today's Scripture

We are a strange people at time, we Christians.  We are no different than the Jewish people that Jesus confronted when he had the opportunity to preach in the local temple in his hometown.  Of course the folks there thought some of his preaching was magnificent.  However, they were not willing to grant him the grace or respect that he deserved.  His words were "above" the hometown folks.  "Where did he get his wisdom and miraculous powers?"  The worshippers knew his family and realized it could not be from his carpenter father and his humble mother.  The familiarity that the people had with his family and himself created a wall between Jesus and themselves.  Pride?  Jealousy?  What could be the reason that brought them to the obvious failure:  they failed to pursue the question, "Where did he get all of this wisdom ...?"

Are we any different?  Stop to think about all of us in our Church, in our parishes, in our families:  do we encounter priests, bishops, cardinals, popes, brothers, sisters, fellow-parishioners when anyone of these folks presents a notion or idea that seems to very different to the feathers in our nests?

Take, for example, the young adult who returns home with a prized college degree or a Master's degree or a doctorate and who is truly excited about the subjects learned in pursuit of the degree.  Sometimes there excitement and newly gained wisdom become a threat, a challenge to what we know and treasure in our older and "more experienced" world.  This is always the challenge to priests who have been in the vineyard for a number of years when a newly ordained priest arrives in a parish.  Filled with enthusiasm, the young man comes to "save the world."  It is then that the older priest himself has the genuine opportunity to grow, teaching and guiding the powerhouse that is now working in the parish.

So, all of us have reason to examine ourselves in considering how we might have offended someone who presents a "new idea" with all the good intentions in the world, yet we accept the "revelation" with harshness, smugness etc..

Remember what Matthew wrote:  a prophet is not accepted in his homeland!!!