February 1, 2017
Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
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. Edgar R. Calma)
What are your impressions? We normally encounter this question when we are ask to provide our initial thoughts and feelings about a situation, person or a material. Impressions are shaped by our personal experiences in an individual or communal encounter. Hence, the common understanding that “first impression last” may not always be necessarily true. Our life experiences and encounters will move us to verify and validate our initial impressions to better uncover, discover and recover what is true, real and genuine in a situation, material and most especially in a person.
In the Gospel for today, Jesus was not able to perform any mighty deed because He was rejected by His own people in Nazareth. This is the native place of Jesus where He grew, lived, and matured as a person. When Jesus came out to teach in the synagogue, people were amazed but they also took offense against Him. The people could not believe that a carpenter whose roots was very well known to everyone in the place can perform such mighty deeds coupled with wisdom and authority. What they saw in Jesus was a “carpenter”; they did not see the “Savior”.
At this point in our life, what is our impression about Jesus? Who is Jesus for us? Is he a distant and a fair weather God? Or a God that journeys with us even in the most painful and challenging moments in our life. Another important question to look into is how have we deepened and purified our knowledge about Jesus? Indeed, our individual response to Jesus’ invitation of friendship is rooted in our faith. A faith that requires a process of purification, openness, docility, and humility that will allow us to go beyond our impressions and see Jesus as our only savior and companion in the ordinary events of our lives. This is the grace that we need to ask from our Lord Jesus Christ. A grace that will help us be more keen and discerning in going beyond and transcending our initial impressions in life and see the perspective of God in daily events of forgiveness, compassion, healing and self-giving.