Friday of the Seventeenth Week In Ordinary Time(Click here for readings)
Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?”
Background Check. Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary?
Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was born in a poor town belonging to a poor nation. He was brought up by a poor mother and poor father. His education was extremely poor and limited. And yet, he was [is] rich in wisdom.
Where did this man get such wisdom? Where?
For me, this is a miracle. This is an astonishing feat! Who can argue against me? I just know that I wouldn’t be half the man I am today if it weren’t for my education, my upbringing and the financial means I had at my disposition.
And yet I am nothing compared to Jesus Christ, not even on a human level!
Of course there is nothing knew with a nobody becoming a somebody, but what is new is that the Lord had no help, no coattails, no government subsidies or programs to help him. He only had his cousin, John.
Christ’s background does not match his achievements.
Jesus, the Son of God. I know a lot of people who are good at talking the talk but not necessarily walking the walk. I also know a lot of people who stumble in their attempt to walk the talk. But I do not know anyone who even comes close to walking the talk like Jesus Christ; the one and only one that does it with great ease and with great confidence.
Where did this man get all this? From His mother? From his step-father? From his brothers and sisters? From his relatives? From his town? From the wise men of the day? That would be a miracle in it of itself.
He must have received it from His Father in Heaven and from within.
They took offense. It wouldn’t be difficult at all for the Church to say all the “right” things to people. She could easily do that. She could even raise her “appeal” level if she only said what people wanted to hear. But she won’t. She could even double membership if she said all the “right” things to all the “right” people. But she won’t.
Thank God! For all the Churches that have tried to do this have all found themselves with empty pews and empty of any significance. Those who seek the truth do not want to believe in a Church (and God) that believes in what they believe. They want to believe in a Church (and God) that challenge them to believe and to follow.
Jesus is difficult to believe. He is even harder to follow. He doesn’t act like God. And they took offense. He doesn’t appear powerful like God. And they took offense. He doesn’t stand like a giant. And they took offense.
Contrary to the popular opinion (the media), The Church, under the guidance of Pope Francis, isn’t campaigning for more members. She is campaigning for holiness; on behalf of Jesus Christ for holiness, and the Holy Father is using Christ’s words to do that and modeling his pontificate by following in Christ’s footsteps. If He is successful, then He will not be welcomed in the Vatican. A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own home.
Everything the Lord said was right, good and holy. And even today, most people, regardless of their beliefs, would agree with Christ’s Creed; they agree with his idea of decency, of love and of humanity. They might not give him all the credit for it, but knowing Him, what matters most is that they follow it.