On returning to His home town of Nazareth, Jesus went into the synagogue on the Sabbath, as He usually did, and this time He was invited to preach. He chose a passage in the scroll from Isaiah which gives a beautiful summary of the programme of His new mission:
“To announce good news to the poor,to proclaim liberty to captives,and new sight to the blind;to free the oppressed and to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.”
At first the people listened to Jesus with approval, but then they reminded themselves of His background and said “He’s only Joseph the carpenter’s son.” They felt more comfortable thinking of Him as just the son of a carpenter and nothing else. Jesus gently, if sadly, reminded them that no prophet is ever accepted in his own homeland.
We all need a place to call home – and people we can call our own. Home is where we’re accepted for what we are, but we’re also encouraged to become the persons we could be. Sometimes the last people to accept the changes we make are those who live with us – they’re so used to our old ways, they can’t believe we can change.
Jesus had to leave home to become the person His Father wanted Him to be. He couldn’t rely on His own people to encourage Him in His new life and mission. As a result He established a community of His chosen friends, who would show love, and support the growing life of the Spirit in each other. That’s us! We’re “home”, we’re “love” to each other, promised to support the growing life of the Spirit in each of us. In our Eucharist today, everyone should feel welcome, and everyone should have the freedom to grow.
So …. welcome home!