Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from an Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
No Honor In Hometown, Nativity of St. Mary
Volume 5 No. 303 September 4, 2015

by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Malankara World

It is difficult to believe that the summer is nearly over. It officially ends this weekend in North America. Of course, our friends in Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, etc. will welcome summer soon. Our loss is their gain.

The church is fast coming to the end of its liturgical Calendar. On September 14, we celebrate the Sleebo Feast. For people who attend Sunday services early, they will notice the switch from Kymtho Namaskaram to Sleebo Namaskaram. Sleebo Namaskaram will continue till next Easter when we switch to Kymtho Namaskaram again.

We are officially into 8-day lent, one of the most popular lent in our church. More people observe this lent than any other lent except for the lent during the Passion Week. Interestingly, the Ettu Nombu is an ecumenical lent. People outside our church also observe this lent! If you go to Manarcadu church during the 8-day lent, you will see the church compound is filled with people; majority of them are not members of our church. It is the clear testimony to the power of intercession to our Theotokos. This also leads to today's bible reading.

This Sunday in Church, the official Gospel Reading is Mark 6:1-6. Jesus, after performing miracles in the neighboring areas goes to his hometown Bethlehem expecting to continue His ministry there. But he finds that people there just don't care about him. They think of him as the son of a carpenter, who grew up among their midst. The bible says that Jesus could not perform any miracles there due to their disbelief. We often notice this among ourselves. We may have several capable individuals among us; but we ignore them. Instead we will give prominence to people from outside. No prophet gets any respect in his hometown.

I came across this passage in Homily of the Day, Commentary on Luke 4:24-30 that is of interest:

Jesus exclaimed, "No prophet is accepted in his hometown." Jesus was rejected by his own people. They did not believe what he said and they drove him away. Imagine the pain Jesus felt. The place he grew up in and the people he spent his early life with rejected his words of hope and love. As people all over respected and approved of Jesus, the people of Nazareth doubted and discredited him. They could not believe that this son of a carpenter could be preaching and performing miracles.

Like Jesus, we are rejected when we either say things that people do not want to hear, or when we do rightful things contrary to popular actions. We get rejected because people around us are envious of what we are capable of doing.

When we experience rejection, we feel desolate, we become isolated, and our initial reaction is to get angry and to exact retribution. We want to get back and make those who rejected us feel the misery and the torment they caused us. Our anger blinds us to do what Christ did.

Even when the people of Nazareth almost threw Jesus off the cliff, He maintained his cool. He did not fight back.

Despite the pain and discouragement, Jesus continued what God the Father commissioned him to do: spread the Good News of salvation. His experience of being rejected did not discourage or stop him from continuing his ministry.

Let us pray for God's grace for courage and inspiration to carry on the work of Christ in our daily lives, to do what is good and right, even if it means facing rejection and humiliation.

More people from outside our Church benefit from the Intercession of St. Mary than people within our church as we can see from the attendees in Marian pilgrimage centers like Manarcadu Church. When are we going to open our eyes and believe?

Today's bible reading is also a clear indication that God is willing to answer our prayers; but for Him to work, we should be willing to ask him or believe in Him. As it says in Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
- Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)

God is standing near you waiting for you to open the door to your heart and welcome Him in. He will come inside and be with you. But it is upto you to open the door and welcome Him in. If you don't, He will go elsewhere, just like Jesus did when he left his Hometown without performing any major work; instead he went to places where he was received by the people with open arms. God sent His only son to redeem the Israel; but the Jews didn't want to have anything to do with Him. So, the Gentiles benefitted more from the ministry of Jesus because they were not prejudiced and believed in Him.

Don't let this happen to you. Open the door of your heart and receive Jesus into your life. Good things happen to you when Jesus comes into your life.


Malankara World Journal is published by
Copyright © 2011-2019 Malankara World. All Rights Reserved.