In this Sunday Gospel, Jesus returns to his home town Nazareth. People were familiar with his background. Returning now as a renowned preacher and healer, he became controversial. Instead of appreciating his talents and achievements, the neighbors disparaged him. They derided his former occupation, carpentry. They belittled his mother and relatives (also called his brothers and sisters in Jewish custom). Jesus went home but he didn’t feel at home. The people he loved did not receive Him. As a consequence he couldn’t perform his miracles there.

This sad incident forces us to look into the way we fashion our families and communities. Are these places worth returning to? Are these venues for comfortable and harmonious living? Are our families and communities affirming and warm, accepting and appreciative of who we are or what we can still be? In some places around us, the prevailing ambience is that of envy and destruction. People put down each other. Bitterness and anger dominate other places we know. Walls, not bridges, are erected between persons. There are places where we feel that people are not authentic but ‘plastic’ in their relationship. It is a total dread for us to even stay a moment there.

Because we are human, we sometimes fail in our mission of encouraging one another and nurturing one another. That is why many families are divided and torn. Many places of work, studies and neighborhood are painful experiences to endure. Young people too often complain that nobody listens to them so they better hang-out with their friends or even with total strangers. Human communities are not perfect. We must be realistic about that. But the grace of God assures us that some things can still be done. Let us not wait for the other person to start transforming our homes and communities. Jesus gives us the strength and the example to start the change ourselves. Maybe we need to start smiling again, or speaking kindly, or finally forgiving a fault. And of course, we need to pray for others and with others that LOVE may prevail. When we refuse to receive and love others, we close our doors to JESUS as well.

#50. A HUMUROUS ANECDOTE: An elderly gentleman feared his wife was getting hard of hearing. So he called her doctor to make an appointment to have hearing checked. After the appointment, the hearing test was made. One evening, the wife is in the kitchen fixing dinner, and he is in the living room. He says to himself, ”I’m about 40ft. away, let’s see what happens.” Then in a normal tone he asks, “Honey, what‘s for supper?” No response. So the husband moved to the room about 30ft. The same question was asked and got no response. Then he moved into dining room about 10ft, he asked the same question. Again he gets no response. He walks up to the kitchen and right up behind her he asked, “Honey, what’s for supper?” “Darn it Robert, for the FIFTH time I said,”CHICKEN!”

Moral: Don’t be too quick to see the weakness and faults others...and blind to your own.

This 14th week in OT, we celebrate on the 11th, the feast of St. Benedict and on the 14th, the memorial of St. KateriTekokwitha. All the rest will be optional memorials. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin. GOD BLESS!

Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie