From time immemorial. we assign the responsibility of our emotions to the messenger. Good news receives accolades. Bad news, the messenger gets blamed.[. We even have cliches and axioms referencing it. I, for one hadn’t realized it was part of the Gospel also. “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place” [Luke 4:24] We see it in so many of the messengers sent to proclaim the good News – they are disbelieved, ignored, run out of town, murdered, and martyred. They also traveled far from their homes to proclaim and spread the Word.
Earlier in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum”
Maybe that’s why we leave home for school – less judgment, less parental interference. I see it in my own son. I’ll ask twenty questions and he’ll answer two. I also saw it when I returned home from college. My nother tried to give me a curfew. I was not having that. Looking back now, I think she may have been saying it tongue-in-cheek. I say things to my son tongue-in-cheek and he gets it. He may be smarter than I was.
We expect a certain safety in our homes and hometowns. It is familiar. We are forever children among our neighbors. I always felt funny cooking in my parents’ house; my mother-in-law’s also. I felt that I shouldn’t be touching certain things; it wasn’t my place to be the grownup despite being a grownup with a small child. In other ways, I took initiative. When my mother sent me grocery shopping, if her item was overpriced or not on sale, I substituted another or skipped it entirely. My sister would get everything on the list regardless of price.
I am certainly not a prophet, but how are my messages received? Are they seen equally with others? How nervous am I to deliver any news to the people I know rather than new acquaintances at retreats and writing groups?
Jesus spent so much time in Capernaum. Why isn’t he Jesus of Capernaum? He’s Jesus of Nazareth. Who am I? Kb of my hometown? Of my college town? Where I live now? Which is my native home? How will I be received?
[Today’s Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-15b, Psalms 42;43, Luke 4:24-30]