Mk 6: 1-6




When a young man was ordained a priest, his relatives from the distaff side (his mother’s side) greatly rejoiced. However some of his relatives from his father’s side showed surprising indifference. Why? Because they knew his father well – that he was a rebellious son in his youth, who did not finish college, and who worked as a manual laborer. As these relatives looked down on the father, so they did the same now on the son even though he was now a priest.


Jesus experienced a similar episode in his life when his neighbors, who may have included some relatives, could not accept that he was preaching God’s Word (Mk 6). They could not bring themselves to admire a humble carpenter, the son of Mary a simple woman, and whose brothers and sisters (actually cousins) were not people of exalted position in town. Jesus felt pain in his heart as he realized how the people he loved closed their hearts to his presence and to his call.


It is really sad when we allow ourselves today to be blinded by prejudice and discrimination. In many places, there are discriminations against foreigners or black people or other religions or the poor or the gay community. Many people in the world today are looked down by others, not because of their fault, but due to the ignorance and arrogance of those around them.


The Gospel speaks of Jesus’ inability to further serve his townmates because they did not accept the prophet sent to them by God. In this sense, we see another of Jesus’ failures. He did not succeed in his mission of preaching and converting hearts. Paradoxically, Jesus was received warmly in other places and there his offer of salvation was accepted with joy.


When we discriminate or exclude people from our lives, we think that we are victorious in guarding ourselves from these unwanted persons. The fact however, is that we prevent ourselves from experiencing what good they can contribute to our lives. We are not enriched but impoverished by our blindness and pride.


Let us pray so hard not to reject others because of our prejudices or false sense of superiority and sophistication. We might be rejecting the people God sends to bring us his message, his hope, and his love. Pray instead, for an open, humble and welcoming heart so that we will be ready for God’s gift of salvation.