Sunday Reflection: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B
One of the painful realities of life is rejection. It haunts us even after many years. Rejection leads us to think that we are not worth loving; we are good for nothing; and that we are not good enough for anything or anyone in this life.
Our Gospel this Sunday talks about the rejection of Jesus by his own kin and friends in Nazareth. But unlike our own experience of rejection mentioned above, the rejection Jesus experienced comes from contempt and jealousy. Some people of Nazareth just cannot accept the truth that the person whom they spent their lives with for years was now preaching and performing miracles. Jealousy makes us forget that life is not stagnant. Life flows and there is always room for improvement. Much more which Jesus who is God. Jesus invites us to see beyond mere physical or external knowledge of persons, there is always more in the internal of one’s life only if we give time to see them in our lives and in the lives of others.
Contempt, on the other hand, comes from the reality that we cannot accept the uniqueness that is in each one of us. The rejection of Jesus comes from their contempt of Him because He preached the truth to them. Indeed, the truth hurts. But the truth is the truth, we can never hide from it. Hatred of others comes from our own insecurities and low self-worth. When we see how others can live through the difficult moments of their lives, we sometimes harbor hate and we become jealous or insecure. Then, this leads to destruction of love and care. One will fail to see the beauty of others and our own because we make others’ standard as our own, for which we have to fit, or we fit them in.
The Prophet Ezekiel reminds us that no matter what, whether we listen or not to the message of truth, God is there. The truth and love of God does not change, accepted or not. Our rejection of the truth is to our own downfall, it is not God’s loss. It is ours. This is why St. Paul in our 2nd Reading this Sunday, exhorts us to be humble. Humility is the key towards understanding and acceptance. Love can never grow where there is no humility, because humility is truth as St. Teresa of Avila said.
We are therefore invited to be always on the side of truth. When people are truthful to us, they are our true friends because they will not hide anything from us even if this truth hurts us to the core. It is only when we are living the truth that we can live peacefully, because we have nothing to hide. The Lord Jesus did not lay aside the truth just to be accepted by the people of His own town. He preached to them the truth that they might be able to choose to live in peace or in a lie.