In today’s Gospel passage from Mark 6, Jesus goes back to Nazareth, “his native place,” and begins to teach in the synagogue. The people of his home town wonder who this guy thinks he is. They knew him, they watched him grow up. They didn’t think there could be anything special about him. “And they took offense at him.” Jesus says to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience.
It’s great to be wanted and accepted, isn’t it? I think it is one of the deepest desires of the human heart. But we know that as Christians, that will not always be the case. Even if we mean no offense, there will invariably be those who will take offense at us, purely because of our faith. This can be especially true in our own families. After all, they know you. Now you’ve become this self-righteous, holier-than-thou saint? Who do you think you are? While these times can be very painful, we must always remember that Jesus went through the same thing. Let’s always remember to respond with love and compassion.
Father, help us to always keep the faith, even in the face of persecution, perhaps from our own family. May we always stay close to you. Amen.