Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Jeremiah 26:1-9; Matthew 13:54-58)
You Can’t Go Home Again is the provocative title of a novel by novelist Tom Wolfe. The story describes the plight of a writer who publishes a successful book about his hometown. When he returns to the town, he finds his former neighbors upset with how he has portrayed them. Apparently it is not that they have changed so much as it is he who changed. Now he sees deep into reality to note people’s motives and desires. Jesus has a similar experience when returning to Nazareth in today’s gospel passage.
Jesus, it can be assumed, tells the people of Nazareth about his Father, God. This claim disturbs his neighbors. “”Is he not the carpenter’s son?’” they ask openly. Rather than heed what he says about God, they dismiss his preaching as pretentious.
We must take care not to treat Jesus similarly. He is the Son of God who deserves our utmost attention and obedience. He is not like any other human being whose message in part is destined to be relativized. Rather his words will always resound with how to live in harmony with the Father.