Not a Hometown Hero
June 29, 2012
"And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, 'Prophets are not without honor, except in their own hometown."
Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson
When Jesus returned to Nazareth, his hometown, it began well, but quickly went sour. The people who knew him best honored him least. Why?
Just yesterday, it seemed, he was one of them. But today, his words and wisdom, his manner and his power, said he was—in a way—far above them. Possibly they felt slighted by this; perhaps envious. "Who does he think he is?"
When Barack Obama first ran for President I wrote a newspaper column about his Christian faith. One of the responses I received could only be described as a sneer. The writer, who had gone to high school with Obama, couldn't imagine that this guy he'd known as a kid having a smoke under the bleachers could be the man he was today.
I sort of get that. I think of a person who was once a student of mine, even a protégé of sorts. But now his wisdom and accomplishments have so far surpassed my own. Sometimes I have to check myself, to have the grace to look up to someone who I once in a sense looked down upon, albeit with affection.
There's a warning here for us all. Don't let past relationship, even close companionship, blind or deafen you to a true messenger of God.
And perhaps there's another word here for us as well. When his own people rejected him, Jesus did not reject them back. He marveled, and then he moved on. Sometimes that's the best we can do and the good we should do . . . to move on.
Grant me grace Holy One not to envy the wisdom or success of another, but to receive their message and truth as your own. Amen.
Ms. Christina Villa
Minister for Resources and Communications
Publishing, Identity, and Communication
Local Church Ministries/Office of General Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.