Dear Parishioners & Visitors,
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."
- Mark 6:4
Rejection is one of the most common human fears. Deep down, our honor is hurt when someone rejects us. Sometimes we are rejected because of our race, color, nationality, religious beliefs, the work we do; or just for being a woman or a man. It does not matter what the motives are for being rejected, our identity is in question and the thought that maybe something is wrong with us invades our minds and our hearts.
Jesus himself was rejected by his own people because of his office as a prophet. He was not honored by the people in his native place. Usually, in the Middle East of Jesus' time, the honor of a person was given by the family of origin. His listeners questioned Jesus' wisdom and actions because they knew he was a carpenter and the son of Mary. They were not sure who Jesus' father was and they could not believe that a carpenter would have such wisdom. They were offended by what seemed to put Jesus in a very low place and still be a prophet. Jesus was not good enough in their eyes! As a consequence, their faith in Jesus was either weak or null.
Rejection did not become an obstacle for Jesus to continue his mission. It became an obstacle for those who rejected him. They were not able to witness more miracles and to enjoy the graces that Jesus came to offer. Therefore, Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith.
As Americans and as Catholics, it is very important to have a clear sense of honor in our lives. For Jesus, it is very clear that honor does not come from family of origin, profession, or social status. For a Christian, honor is rooted in Jesus himself, who is God. It is the honor of having a Creator that cares for each human person to the point of giving his own life for us. It is the honor of been created in the image and likeness of God.
-fr. Jorge Rátiva, O.P.