Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs
Reading 1Heb 12:4-7, 11-15; Gospel Mk 6:1-6
Homecoming is always a nostalgic experience for us especially when we are coming back after a long period. Our home, hometown, relatives, childhood friends etc. are very dear to our hearts because they are the first scenery that was imprinted in our memory. Therefore this factor has a strong impact in our lives. Added to this, the people we meet in our native place, first and foremost, our own family members – what we are today it is because of them. Not just our friends, relatives, neighbours – contributed to our lives in one way or the other helping us to grow. These are number of reasons that explain why we long for home experience? Today’s gospel presents to us the homecoming experience of Jesus. Jesus visits his hometown during the public ministry. Like any of us, He too might have had the nostalgic expectations about this visit. However, he did not have a such a welcoming experience. His natives could not accept him as Messiah. They ridicule Jesus by revealing his humble roots and his previous occupation as carpenter in order to emphasize that he is not educated enough to be neither a Messiah nor a rabbai because the Messiah they had in mind was a royal one who would re-establish the throne of King David. It could be a moment of brokenness for Jesus but he accepts it. He was well aware of his mission, especially his prophetic mission of awakening Israelites from their mediocratic life to a spiritual renewal. Jesus was not ready to compromise his stand in order to please his natives by praising or working miracles for them. He points out their lack of faith and takes a prophetic stand by saying: “prophet is despised only in his own country, among his own relations, and in his own house.” As we reflect, along the passage, let us look into our life and see, if we have the courage to take a prophetic stand? By being afraid of losing our portfolios and popularity, do we simply try to please others by closing our eyes towards the injustice meted out against the innocent and vulnerable? Let us be a prophet like Jesus who stands for one’s own convictions.