Today’s gospel reading bears an overwhelming theme of consolation within rejection and preparation for the suffering within the Christian journey.
In the gospel story, Jesus and his disciples return to his hometown, preaching the Good news. But instead of celebrating the wisdom and gifts of their local town hero, they discredit and reject him. They cannot accept the saviour in their midst.
Can you imagine the heartbreak of Jesus in this scene? The very people who should have known him best, maybe childhood friends and family, cannot move past their own pride to see the wisdom of Jesus.
Maybe we can think of a similar situation in our lives. The rejection of family members and friends when we started going to church more or taking our faith more seriously. Jesus’s words at the end of the gospel bring us comfort.
Furthermore, too, the first reading and psalm. Paul tells us that pain will inevitably be a part of our Christian journey. We think of those moments in our own lives of utter sheer heartbreak, where our cries to God resembled the cries in the psalm. Crying out in utter distress and pain to God.
But we remain hopeful, as all the readings conclude: this pain has a purpose. The hero has to be rejected. The sick, not the healthy, are healed. Zion will be made stronger than ever because of its fall. And you will bear much peace and goodness into your life. We will know that the lord’s kindness will be upon us and that we are in good company.
Claire O’Donohue is a current Oxley Passionist Youth Retreat Team member. While also in her final year of university, she is completing her bachelor’s degree with a major in visual art and theology.