“And coming to his own country he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?’ And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.’ And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.” (Mt 13: 54-58)
Why do we tend not to “believe” in the extraordinary gifts of one of “our own”? I think, for three reasons: 1. Familiarity, 2. Collective self-loathing, and 3. Jealousy. First of all, we are so familiar with, so used to, one another in our own “house,” that we take one another for granted. Also, our own shortcomings/issues, as a family or community, with which we are confronted on a daily basis, – and when not balanced by gratitude, faith, and humble self-acceptance, – instil in “us” a collective self-loathing, so that it makes no sense to us that “our” midst could produce anyone/anything extraordinary, like “wisdom and mighty works.” And finally, we tend to be jealous of one of “our own,” if we choose to live a comparative life, and note that he/she has somehow done “better” than us, having grown up under the same circumstances as we did. And jealousy tells us that, well, this just isn’t fair.
Today let me open my heart and my eyes to the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in “our” midst; in my own church, my own family, and my own neighborhood. The “wisdom and mighty works” of God are, indeed, revealed to me in small and big ways through other people, when I have the grateful eyes to see and ears to hear His grace at work in them. “Wisdom. Let us be attentive,” to the grace of God we receive through one another.