The Gospel Today
Memorial of Sts. Pedro Bautista, Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs
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!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph 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.
Reflection (Sem. Ivan Feniquito):
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is rejected in his own native place. He returned to his hometown with a good intention to cure the sick and preach the word of God at their synagogue. But what had happened? Why was he rejected?
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” There is a saying that it is more difficult to evangelize your own family, relatives or friends rather than to those strangers to you. Some of the reasons maybe because of what they knew about you before when you were growing up, and others reason could be because of the sins and the wrongdoings that you have done.
Do you believe that what the person has undergone in life since you know him before will change? Do you believe that people change, circumstance changes, and our fortunes in life change? I believe that people change and I hope that I also change for the better.
Today is my birthday. In my 27 years of life, I hope and pray that I am already a changed man. I know myself; I know my weaknesses, my former and favorite sins. In my past life, I know that there were people who knew who I was, maybe they were involved or they witnessed my shortcomings in the past.
In the seminary formation, we are formed to become a better person or by God’s grace to be a good and holy priest in the future. I believe in God’s grace that with all my sins and shortcomings, I can change for the better and do the things that I ought to do.
I believe that God forgives our sins, and gives us chances to renew our life in line with his commandment. God is inviting us to repent, renew ourselves, and learn to forgive others (give chance to other people to whom we boxed them in their dark past). So that, we can be a new man, so that in the present or in the near future, our thoughts for them will be renewed and in that case we can accept them, and not reject them as the people of Nazareth rejected Jesus. Amen.