When Miss Universe 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach of the Philippines, came for her homecoming and victory visit to Manila, it was expected that large crowds of people would welcome and follow here wherever she would go. Security was tight, the traffic was managed, and schedules were carefully planned. What Filipino would not feel blessed to meet or, at least see and hear the beauty titlist who finally brought home the coveted crown after 42 years of waiting?

The gospel is situated in the visit of Jesus to his hometown, the story of which was proclaimed last Sunday and continues on this day. And what a homecoming that was. Jesus captured the attention of people who were filled with awe and amazement at this native son who has grown so famous. But this gospel actually combines several visits of Jesus to his native place and the altering impressions people had of him.

Initially there was admiration, then later on, people felt threatened by his presence and by his message. Today, we hear people doubting Jesus in terms of his poor origin. They were also more interested in the miracles he was said to be performing than in his message of conversion. In the end Jesus did not feel welcome anymore. In fact, the people drove him out of the town, intending to kill him by throwing him down from the top of  a hill.

How did Jesus handle this rejection? And the many others waiting to happen? It was clear that most of the Jews were not comfortable with him.

The gospel simply said: Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away. What strikes me here is the spirit of serenity, peace and self-confidence Jesus possessed. His own life was threatened. His own people refused to acknowledge him. He felt people’s hearts and minds closing and repulsing his love. And yet, he calmly walked past the people and went his way, to another place, to another people waiting for his arrival.

Jesus showed us the key to peace in the midst of the storm. Jesus exhibited how it was to truly trust and surrender everything to the Father. He did not panic because he knew God was protecting him and guiding him and would not allow him to be disturbed from his mission. The prophet Jeremiah (Jer 1: 4-5. 17-19) describes this in his words of assurance: be not crushed on their account, as though I would leave you crushed before them… they will fight against you but not prevail over you, for I am with to deliver you, says the Lord.

Are you shaken when problems come? When troubles happen, do you panic and lose heart? Let us ask from Jesus the strength that he had in the face of difficulties. Let us ask the Lord to teach us to entrust everything to the Father. When you pray, “drop” before the altar the people, the concerns, and the fears that disturb your heart. And let God handle them while you go about your work in peace and trust.