We’re not always ready to celebrate the success of others. Instead, we may be tempted to knock them down, with a comment like, ‘He’s got too big for his boots.’
In today’s Gospel, Jesus returns to his home town of Nazareth, and begins to teach in the synagogue. The reaction of the townspeople – Jesus’ neighbours – is striking. They don’t deny that Jesus is teaching with wisdom. They can’t deny the miracles that he has worked. And yet, they refuse to believe in him. He is just a working man, a carpenter, and his relatives still live in the town. Where do his power and wisdom come from? Who does he think he is?
Jesus is amazed at the people’s lack of faith, but he reminds them that the prophets were often rejected, as we see in today’s First Reading from the book of Ezekiel. If the prophet brings a message that challenges us, it’s easier to reject the messenger than to accept the challenge.
Jesus can work no miracles in his home town, because of his neighbours’ lack of faith. He is bringing Good News to his own people, but they don’t want to hear it. The story challenges us to look at our own prejudices. What might be preventing us from hearing the Good News and welcoming Christ into our lives?