Gospel: Mt 13:54-58
He went to his hometown and taught the people in their synagogue. They were amazed and said, “Where did he get this wisdom and these special powers? Isn’t he the carpenter’s son? Isn’t Mary his mother and aren’t James, Joseph, Simon and Judas his brothers? Aren’t all his sisters living here? Where did he get all these things?” And so they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them, “The only place where prophets are not welcome is his hometown and in his own family.” And he did not perform many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
Jesus’ town-mates thought they knew Jesus and his background too well. This presumption impeded them from listening and accepting his message. Jesus found them incredulous although they were amazed by this wisdom and special powers. They could not see the presence of the Spirit of God in His words and deeds. Their biases and prejudices prevented them from recognizing the presence of God in their midst.
Whether we admit it or not, we always tend to listen with varying degrees of openness. A lot of times our knowledge of the preacher or speaker can either be a help or an obstacle to listening with openness and sincerity. On the part of the audience, we would do well to remember that the Lord can make use of the most unworthy of instruments to bring his message to his people. The real power behind the words of a homilist or a preacher is the Holy Spirit. On the part of the preacher, for him to be credible, it is essential that “he walks the talk;” that “he believes what he reads, teaches what he believes, and puts into practices what he teaches.”