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Prophets and Home Countries
‘You cannot be a prophet in your home country’ is a well-known phrase. You don’t have to go too far to see examples of this gospel around you. Anyone who returns to their home town with new knowledge and wisdom can sometimes be put in their place. This is what occurs in Jesus’ home town of Nazareth in today’s gospel. Even though the crowd are impressed by the local carpenter’s son, astounded even, and note that he has great wisdom, still he could do no deed of power there. It is definitely a reality check experience. Have you ever had this experience in your own life? A time you were really excited about a new-found knowledge or inspired by a great event or speaker; yet when you returned to tell friends or family members they made fun of you or greeted you with cynicism? Or you can imagine yourself in the crowd today, listening to the local carpenter’s son, so full of great teachings you can’t quite believe it. In the end Jesus left and went around the villages teaching. Simply put, there are times when you have to move on and bear fruit elsewhere.
‘Lord how often you have sent Jesus to us in the form of someone we knew well, but they were just too ordinary for us. All we could see was the carpenter, the son of our neighbour … So the great miracle you had in store for us could not be worked. Lord have mercy.’
Michel de Verteuil