14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – B
In one way or another, we have experienced rejection. As a social being, we always want to belong that is why to be rejected is always painful.
All his life, Jesus was met with rejection: from the moment he was born until he died on the cross and all those times in between, he was rejected. Whilst many people were drawn to his very charismatic personality because of his wisdom and miracles, his superstar-status earned him the hatred and jealousy of those who despised him which eventually cost his very life.
The people of Nazareth could have heard the wonders Jesus performed in the surrounding areas and we would expect that he, being a Nazarean, would receive a hero’s welcome upon his homecoming. This is very common for a town or a city to give a tribute to a local who has given them honour by excelling in a particular field. They do this by offering a plaque of appreciation or maybe a motorcade around the place for people to acknowledge. But instead of excitement and acceptance, the Nazareans took offense of Jesus and rejected him. The reason? Not because of anything bad that Jesus did but because they were scandalized by him going beyond his being ordinary. They knew him too well, at least they thought. And what about Nazareth? When Jesus was introduced to Nathanael as coming from Nazareth, he asked “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” The inscription on the cross made by Pilate “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” was meant to ridicule the Jews that their king came from Nazareth. So the people of Nazareth must have thought “If we are doomed in our being ordinary, so you must.” They made no exception, not even to Jesus in the saying: “familiarity breeds contempt.” They thought they were too ordinary and so why would Jesus, who was one them, should rise above their ranks? For them, he was just too human to be divine.
The deepest rejection that Jesus experienced was in his abandonment by his Father on the cross: "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" Nothing is more painful than to be rejected by the one we love most! This is the pain of God which he does not want any one us to experience at all.
In moments when we feet rejected by a member of our family, kins and friends and especially by someone who is significant in our life, something deep within us dies away! The precious bond that connects us is shattered and we become incomplete; our self-worth as a person is broken!
Salvation is God accepting us in our brokenness; loving us in our sinfulness and embracing us in all our filth. For the Father, we are more than just ordinary because he sees the image of his Son in us that is why he accepts us and we are loved beyond all imagining....