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4th Sunday, Ordinary
The gospel tells a shocking twist about Jesus’ visit to his native town, Nazareth.  This continues last week’s gospel in which we heard that Jesus read from the scroll of the Scriptures and people were filled with amazement. 
In the gospel today (Luke 4) the neighbors, maybe including relatives and friends of Jesus, realize that this person who claims to be the fulfillment of the Scriptures proclaimed at the synagogue, was just a native son, a mere neighbor, an acquaintance, a relative, nobody special. What right has he to a claim of greatness?  This led Jesus to declare:  No prophet is accepted in his own town.
Initially awed, the people now resort to rejection.  They wanted to throw Jesus out of the town.  He was simply unacceptable to their taste.
I think that today there are two ways by which we reject people from our lives.  First, like the experience of Jesus, we throw people out.  This is very painful when it happens.  And deeper is the wound when it comes from the people we lean on for support and belonging. 
A young man was kicked out of the family home after his parents learned he was sick and thus could no longer work and contribute to the income. A daughter shouted back at her mother that her friends were more important to her than the whole family. A man gave up his wife and kids for a woman he recently met at work.  We reject people by stopping to love them; by turning our backs on them.
There is another way of rejecting a person, not as direct as the first.  This may even seem like love and concern for the other person’s welfare.  And this happens when we become totally indifferent for the person’s good, keeping quiet and tolerating the evil the other person is doing.
If your teenage child is out all night hanging out with bad companions in a frenzy of smoking or drinking or sex or drugs or any combination of those, and you do not look for him, it’s worse than throwing him out of the house. If you are a parent and you give up on disciplining your kids, you tell them their future is not important to you. If you are a friend and you are afraid to guide your friend to the right path, you are delivering him up to disaster.  You don’t care!  You reject the person you claim to love.
Isn’t this being gentle and understanding?  Isn’t this also love? How can it be love, when you withhold from the person who needs you most, guidance and direction?  So many people and so many youth, are rejected, through laxity and neglect, by their own families.
Let us stop rejecting each other.  Let us start truly loving and caring by being responsible for another person’s good.