The following reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos throughout this sacred season!
In this morning’s Gospel, the Lord teaches us: “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.” While this summarizes the situation that the Lord himself faced, being rejected by his family, neighbor and friends in Nazareth, it also highlights a basic truth about the struggles we sometimes face in our own families- struggles that can give us great pain.
How often have you or I tried to help a family member or dear friend in a time of struggle, only to be rebuffed? Perhaps we want to show them the destructive nature of their choices or lifestyle, only to be told that “it is my life to live”? How often have we suffered deeply and quietly when we are rejected, feeling helpless to assist the very people whom we love so much, all the while having friends, neighbors and co-workers who gladly accept our help? For the closer we are to someone, at times the more we are unable to help him or her when they need it the most. We are not accepted in our native place.
When I have faced such situations in my own life, I have prayed that the Lord will send someone else to help the very ones who will not accept my help. I have often found that help can come from the most unlikely persons. Yet, it remains true that it is never easy to be a prophet who is not accepted in his native place.