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Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

MARK 6, 1-6 (NIV)

When I opened the Bible yesterday and read Mark's account of the attitude of the people of Nazareth towards Jesus, the image of some of our friends came to mind. I'm referring to those we meet on Sunday at the service in our parish. Although we don't know everything about them, we are aware that from Monday to Saturday, they primarily focus on daily matters - hard work, gaining recognition in the office, factory, or among neighbors, but sometimes not in the eyes of God and their own family. Meanwhile, at home, their loved ones live, who need more attention, understanding, and love.

Today's Gospel recounts how Jesus went with his disciples to his hometown of Nazareth. On the Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and taught. Many gathered there asked in astonishment, "Where did He get such wisdom? What is the source of the power that flows through His hands?" Others, however, said, "Isn't this the carpenter, the son of Mary? Aren't our neighbors his cousins?" Such talk caused doubt to creep into people's hearts about Him. Jesus summarized it by saying, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home."

The situation in Nazareth reminds me how often it happens that it is hardest for us to recognize the authority of those we know well, with whom we share daily life. The people of Nazareth rejected Jesus' authority because they knew Him from childhood. They saw Him help His father at work, bring water to His mother from the well. They looked at Jesus like any other child in their neighborhood who did not stand out. And now this grown-up Jesus returns to His hometown and tries to teach them, speaking of things that do not fit into the Old Law.

On one hand, they are amazed at His wisdom; on the other, they cautiously turn their backs, thinking, "What wise could come from our poor Nazareth?" The people of Nazareth neither surrounded Jesus with authority nor believed that He was the promised Messiah. And since they did not believe, there were fewer miracles and healings because faith is necessary to receive these graces. Moved by their disbelief, Jesus left the town and went to teach people in the surrounding villages.

This event must have strongly stuck in the hearts and memories of Jesus' disciples, as the Evangelist Matthew wrote in the thirteenth chapter of his Gospel: "And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.' And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith."

It is similar in our families. Our children grow up to be wonderful people, but before that happens, we sometimes stand in the way of their development, disregarding their passions and aspirations. Our wives, taking care of the home and simultaneously working professionally, often encounter a lack of respect and a demanding attitude from their husbands. Meanwhile, husbands often bear the burden of supporting the entire family, driven by their growing needs or those of their partner, losing their soul in hard work. I've seen many times how the younger generation devalues the life wisdom of grandparents, their love, and their need for acceptance of their life's clumsiness.

In the sixth chapter of the Letter to the Ephesians, we read these words: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ - which is the first commandment with a promise - 'so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.' Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

Entangled in life's obligations, we sometimes strip each other of dignity, and the authorities our loved ones represent in various fields are trampled and diminished at home. We feel then like Jesus in Nazareth, an uninvited guest and rejected God.

To live better and more worthily, let us turn to Jesus and open our hearts wider to our loved ones. Let us pray for our family, for each individual, not in a general and cursory manner, because each of our loved ones is an unrepeatable miracle that cannot be replicated by the best photocopier. Let us try to refresh our view of their strength, weakness, deeds and efforts, successes, and failures. Let us love and respect each other, talk to each other, and hug each other because life on this earth is exceptionally short. Let us exchange precious gifts: respect and trust. Then, the lost authorities will return to their rightful place, and we will be able to rely on them when we wander in the dark valley of life.

In our lives, let us follow the words of Paul from the First Letter to the Corinthians: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

May God bless us all.



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