In this Sunday’s Gospel we hear of Jesus returning to his hometown. He arrives accompanied by his disciples that is, he comes as a Rabbi. It was the custom of Rabbis to move about the country accompanied by their circle of disciples, and so it was as a teacher, with his disciples, that Jesus arrived in Nazareth.
When he teaches in the synagogue Jesus is greeted not with wonder but with contempt. “And they took offense at him.” Familiarity had bred contempt. “Is he not the carpenter?” Yes, Jesus was a working man. A man of the people. For us that is his glory; God, in his incarnation, claimed no exemptions. He took upon himself the common life with all its common tasks.
Also notable in the passage is the query, “Is this not Mary’s son? The fact that they called Jesus Mary’s son may indicate that by this time Joseph had died. The people of Nazareth despised Jesus because they knew his mother; his family. Sometimes we are too near or familiar with people to see and appreciate their greatness.
When it comes to Jesus, we can either open the door wide to him – or slam it in his face as did the people of Nazareth.
Be open to him; open to his word!
Director of Adult Formation