Wednesday of the 4th Week of the Year

Mk 6:1-6

The Rejection at Nazareth


Have you heard of the lady who was visiting her brother in a certain village not long ago but was suspected of having the dreaded disease, SARS by the residents of the place? All because she was complaining of dizziness and was coughing. What did the residents do? They had her out of their village in no time at all.

Was the rejection not similar to Jesus’ experience in his own home place?

But Jesus’ experience was worse still. Spreading SARS was out of question then. All Jesus wanted to spread was the Good News. In fact, far from spreading any kind of sickness, he was out to heal people of all kinds of sickness, if, through their faith, people were open to his healing power.

But His own people were clearly, strongly biased towards Him. And the reason? He was just one of them! “Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary…?” He was just a carpenter! He was just the son of Mary! Why did they not say the son of Joseph,  which was then the customary among the Jews: to refer to a man as the son of his father? Were they so bent on expressing their bias towards Him?

Yes, bias! An abominable affliction! It can blind one even to God!

Was the crucifixion not a symbol of the rejection of Jesus? Raising Him above the earth would seem to get across the message: we don’t want to have anything to do with you!

Feeling rejected? You are in good company! You are with Jesus. And happily for you, He rejects no one. ( Fr. Dong Alpuerto, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


Once I and other priests attended the thanksgiving Mass of a newly ordained SVD priest in an interior part of Cebu. Driving on a long, winding and dusty road, we noticed a lot of motorcycles, cars and people going to the same direction. Together we moved slowly toward the parish church where the thanksgiving mass was to be held. The people were holding and waving colorful flags during the procession. After the thanksgiving mass, there was a big banquet prepared by the people themselves. It was their expression of gratitude that a missionary priest came from their place. I was so touched with what I saw and experienced.

In today’s gospel, Jesus experienced the opposite when he returned to His native place. Instead of a grand welcome, he was greeted with doubts, insults, indifference and unbelief. If today’s gospel scene happened in the Philippines, would Jesus receive the same treatment? Would the issue here be cultural?

I think the issue here is not about culture but faith. Jesus’ experience in today’s gospel is happening around us. Try inviting people to a party, concert or whatever outing, and you get a nod at once. But invite or gather them to a celebration of the Holy Eucharist, what response do you would you get? People stay until the wee hours of the morning to party but feel burdened to stay in one-hour Mass. Text messages and emails containing jokes are circulated more than those with gospel values. Internet addicts don’t notice the time in front of the computer but a minute of prayer is much too long. These are modern signs of indifference and rejection towards Jesus and I know the list is long. The challenge is to shorten the list. (Fr. Jun Rebayla, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


February 3, 2016 Wednesday: Today St. Blaise (February 3) is given special recognition on his feast through a unique ceremony that reminds us of the anointing of the sick. While he was in prison during the persecution of Licinius, St. Blaise miraculously cured a small boy who was choking to death on a shbone lodged in his throat. A poor woman brought him candles to light his cell so he could read the sacred Scriptures. That is why in the blessing of our throats, the priest holds two crossed candles over our heads or touch our throatswith these while invoking the prayer of the saint and imparting God’s blessing.

Today’s gospel is the opening verse of Chapter 6 of Mark. Chapter 5 tells us of those who bowed down before Jesus: the man possessed by demons, the woman with an incurable disease, Jairus the synagogue leader. But in today’s gospel, they “took offense” after hearing him – implying denial and rejection, not responding the proper way to God’s Good News. Jesus told about the time being fulfilled and that God’s kingship already at hand. However, off ended, these people rationalized their way to avoid believing and repenting.

Just last month, we ended the 51st International Eucharistic Congress 2016 in Cebu. Each participant has a story to tell about being touched by Christ’s words. The theme song “Christ in Us: Our Hope of Glory” clearly reminds us that the proper response to Christ is belief and repentance. Not merely sorrow for and hatred of sin, but also the inward turning away from it to God, with the full purpose of new obedience. May we find more reasons to believe and stay close to our merciful and compassionate God. When we do, we shall be opening our eyes to God’s blessings beyond imagination. (Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD | DYRF, Cebu Bible Diary 2016)



In the song “If Were a Rich Man” from the movie “Fiddler on the Roof,” the main character dreams of the advantages of being rich, one of which is that, he imagines, people would come to him seeking wisdom. He says to himself: “And it won’t make one bit of difference if I answer right or wrong. When you’re rich, they think you really know!” The sad implication is that no one pays attention to a poor man.

The poor man in today’s gospel is Jesus of Nazareth. He has come to his home town and is teaching in the synagogue. The people see him speaking with wisdom and working miracles, but, he is just a poor man, a carpenter, the son of Mary. Instead of being grateful and honored that their fellow Nazarene, even though he is poor, is so rich in wisdom, they conclude that because he is poor, he cannot really he wise. He is a nobody, so they do not accept him. In Luke’s account of this same event we read last Sunday, we learned that not only did they not accept him, they wanted to throw him off a cliff.

What is wrong with the people of Nazareth? Why do they despise one of their own? And what can we learn from their tragic example? The first reading gives us an indication of what maybe causing their amazing lack of faith. The passage from Hebrews urges us to strive for “peace with all people, and the holiness without which no one can ever see the Lord.” The people of Nazareth are not at peace in themselves, and they seem to be lacking this holiness, since they cannot “see the Lord” even though he is standing right in their synagogue. The reading goes on to warn what we should be careful “that no root of bitterness should begin to grow and make trouble; this can poison a whole community.”

What we see in Nazareth, then, is the fruit of a “root of bitterness” which has “poisoned the whole community.” The people in the synagogue are not evil people who have deliberately abandoned God. They are simply living on a natural level, and in their selfishness they have not fought against the common temptations of resentment, envy and anger. They stand as an example for us. We may say that we would never reject Jesus, but when we find ourselves closing our hearts to others, discriminating against certain people or regarding them with suspicion, making harsh or sarcastic remarks, when we neglect those whom we judge to be too poor or too ordinary to merit our attention, then, we are just like the people of Nazareth. We are poisoned by the same bitterness. The way we are treating Jesus, who is present in each of them.

These bitter attitudes are evidence that we are not accepting the will of God with joy. We are standing in pride or clinging to some personal preference, and since things are not the way we want them to be, we cannot find peace. The Lord, who always treats us with the love of a Father for his sons, wants to free us from this condition. One the most effective methods he uses is suffering, which as the reading says, is part of our training. We would never choose to suffer simply for the sake of suffering, but we can discover in suffering the value of abandoning ourselves to God. This is why it is effective for our training. God never punishes us arbitrarily; no good father would do that. Everything that he does or allows to happen is for our benefit. Therefore we should never give in to discouragement when he corrects us. “For the Lord trains the ones that he loves and he punishes all those that he acknowledges as his sons.

When we are experiencing the process of being trained, it is always “most painful at the time, and far from pleasant,” but if we remain committed to God, it will surely bear the fruit of peace and goodness. Even if we are poor in the eyes of the world, and are rejected by those who are bitter, our Father will never abandon us! “The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear.”

In what ways do I reject Jesus? Why do I reject him? What is my reaction to suffering? Do I see suffering as the Lord “training” me” (Pondering the Word THE ANAWIM WAY – Baptism of the Lord to 5th Week in Ordinary Time, January 13, 2013 to February 12, 2013 – February 6, 2013 pp. 139-141).


Marcos 6:1-6. Unsa man ang papel sa mga kabos diha sa katilingban sa Dios? Tungod sa pagka-ordinaryo sa Iyang pamilya ug tungod kay Siya usa lamang ka karpentero, si Jesus wala tuohi sa Iyang tagilungsod. Kining sayop nga batasan anaa gihapon sa atong katawhan karon. Daghan kanato adunay pagpihig sa mga inila, dato ug edukado, apan walay pagsalig sa mga ordinaryong tawo, kabos, ug walay grado. Apan, sa mga mata sa Ginoo, ang tawo dili pagahukman pinaagi sa iyang dungog, bahandi, o edukasyon, kondili pinaagi sa iyang kasingkasing ug gugma. Si Cristo usa ka tinuod nga propeta tungod kay Iyang gidala ang kasingkasing ug gugma sa Dios Amahan. Kita usab, mapobre o madato, adunay bokasyon sa pagkapropeta gikan sa Ginoo ug para sa Iyang katawhan (Fr. Abet Uy –


WEDNESDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – HEBREO 12:4-7,11-15. Angay ba natong disiplinahon ang atong mga anak o dili na? Adunay mga ginikanan nga moingon, “Malooy ko sa akong anak ug kutob sa mahimo dili nako balibaran ang iyang mga gipangayo.” Ang uban moingon, “Pinangga nako ang akong anak ug dili gyod nako siya kasab-an o silotan.” Apan, unsa may mahitabo sa mga anak nga patughan sa ilang gusto ug dili badlongon sa ilang mga daotang nahimo? Kasagaran, ang mga batang pinasagdan mahiagom sa kaalaotan. Ang Sulat ngadto sa mga Hebreo nagpahinumdum kanato nga bisan ang Dios magdisiplina sa iyang katawhan. “Anak, ayaw isipa nga diyotay ray bili ang pagkastigo sa Ginoo kanimo, ug ayaw kaluya kon badlongon ka niya. Kay kastigohon sa Dios ang tanan nga iyang gihigugma, ug latoson ang tanan nga iyang sinagop ingon nga anak.” Posted by Abet Uy



My Reflection: Rejection is very difficult to handle, just imagine going for a vacation to the place where you grew-up. Of course you expect nothing less than the best reception that you could ever have. You expect your relatives and friends to treat you affectionately and you expect everybody to be affectionate to you.  But you received a different reception, how would you feel? Of course you’ll feel bad, just imagine being rejected in your own native land.

How did Jesus handle His own rejection from His townmates in Nazareth? He took it humbly. He never raised His voice. He never got angry with anyone there. He could have done something sinister but He did not. He instead still did His ministry by curing a few sick people of course He could have done more miracles but He was being insulted.

The crux of the matter here is Jesus’ humility as opposed to our arrogance when somebody rejects us. Take for example in our respective houses, we feel bad when we don’t get what we want (whatever it is!).

Let us therefore take with humility every rejection that we will encounter in our lives. Let us never react with braggadocio for this is not proper to do.  Our fellowmen will respect and admire us more if we would become calm and humble in the midst of our rejections.

Could we be like Jesus who took with humility His rejection? (Marino J. Dasmarinas)



Jesus rejected by His own: Young Paride Taban fled to Uganda when religious persecution hit Sudan, Africa. The boy entered a seminary and became a priest. After his ordination he went back to Sudan to serve his native countrymen.

His own people looked hard at him and said, “Do you mean to tell us, Paride, that you are now a priest? We find that hard to believe. You are black like us. You are a member of the Madi tribe. How can you be a priest of God, like the white missionaries?”

Two years later the same people loved Father Taban with a deep affection.

Jesus experienced the same kind of rejection before He was accepted by many of His people

How do we handle rejection by others, especially by people we thought were friends?

“Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good,” (Romans 12:21). Mark Link SJ Illustrated Daily Homilies Weekdays 1987:40.


LOVING DISCIPLINE – At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11

When it comes to child rearing, there are countless styles and ways that you will read in the plethora of parenting books. There are those who say you should never hit a child. There are others who say that spanking may be necessary, depending on the situation. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t force a child to share with others, while sharing is a virtue we all want our kids to learn.

It’s not easy being a parent these days. Every day, I pray for the grace and patience to raise our kids the right way. Because I want only the best for them, I don’t want them to grow up spoiled. So, when I don’t give them what they want, they throw a tantrum and sometimes even call me “Bad Mama!” It stings, but I don’t give in if I know that what they want isn’t good for them.

That’s how our God is. His commands are there not because He wants to give us a hard time but because it’s for our good.

St. Paul said, “My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges” (Hebrews 12:5-6). Rissa Singson Kawpeng (

Reflection: “God’s wounds cure, sin’s kisses kill.” (William Gurnall)

Lord, help me to love Your discipline and see them as a loving Father’s way to guide us on the right paths. Amen.



TO PARENTS AND CHILDREN – A father and his son passed by a night club. The father cautioned his son against visiting the club. “Son, never go in there. You will see something you should not see.” After some days, the son approached the father and said, “Dad, I have to be honest with you. I went inside the club and, as you said, I saw something I should not see.” Then he continued, “I saw you with another girl.” The father was trying to discipline his son. Unfortunately, he also needs some disciplining.

Our culture tells parents to allow their children to be themselves and let them have their way. Parents are encouraged to be buddies to their children. While there is wisdom in such parenting style, at times an important truth is left out. More than a buddy, children need a parent too — one who has gone through (and hopefully learned from) everything that the children are going through and is committed to sharing it to them for their betterment. Only a parent can and should give a child the discipline he needs. Proverbs 13:24 says, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

The First Reading gives us a clue on how to discipline children properly. God Himself is a parent who does not spare the rod to discipline His children: “My sons, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord, nor lose heart when He reproves you; for whom the Lord loves, He disciplines; He scourges every son He receives.” God loves us unconditionally, but we must not confuse this to unconditional approval. There are actions that do not have God’s approval.

To the parents and guardians reading this, do not be afraid to discipline your children. The Book of Proverbs says, “Let love and not anger be the guiding motive of your acts of disciplining.” To the children still under parental authority, pray for your parents and learn to trust them. Next to no one, parents are the ones ready to give their lives for their children. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you confuse acceptance for condoning? Love for approval? Pray for the wisdom to see the difference.

Purify our anger, disappointments and frustrations, Lord, that our acts of disciplining may always be grounded by love and love alone. Amen.



HOME COURT ADVANTAGE – A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house. – Mark 6:4

Home court advantage is a term in sports where the home team has a psychological advantage over their opponent because they’re playing in familiar facilities and in front of supportive fans. This was evident at the NBA Championship in 2014 when the San Antonio Spurs defeated their opponent, Miami Heat, in their home court. Their victory was even sweeter because their own people cheered and celebrated with them.

In contrast to today’s Gospel, Jesus didn’t have a home court advantage. He wasn’t welcome in His own native place. He was rejected by His own people. And in some accounts of the Gospel, they belittled Him, saying He was only the son of a carpenter. Someone even said, “Can any good come from Nazareth?”

With this story, Jesus teaches us to focus on our vision and mission even when challenges and disadvantages come our way. This includes rejection from those we expect to support us. When this happens, we should cast off rejection and move forward to pursue the will of God for us and for the benefit of others as well. Just like Jesus, let us continue to pursue the good fight even if we don’t have a home court advantage. After all, God is always on our side. JC Libiran (

Pope Francis Says: “Always know in your heart that God is by your side; He never abandons you!”

Lord, let me live my life not according to how the world tells me but  according to Your ways.



STEPPING STONE OR TRIPPING STONE? – Familiarity, they say, breeds contempt. I do not fully subscribe to it, for there are cases I know where familiarity leads not to contempt, but towards full acceptance. Family members, for one, are very familiar with one another. They grow in unity, in affection, in concern for each other, and in mutual responsibility.

The opposite of acceptance is rejection, and rejection of someone, whether familiar or not, is something that anyone can freely decide to do. Rejection, per se, is not a fruit of over-familiarity. It comes from dislike, from a certain bias against a person, or active hatred for that person.

Today’s Gospel passage from Mark has a significant line: “And they took offense at Him.” From the context, it sounds almost like asking themselves, “How could He do such things when He is no different from the rest of us?” They were scandalized — that is, unable to go beyond their prejudgments and accept His teachings and actions. But there is an even sadder line: “He was not able to perform any mighty deed there.”

“skandalon” is a tripping stone, a block that stands in one’s way. It hampers one’s otherwise smooth journey. It prevents one from freely reaching his or her destination with ease, comfort and speed.

Preachers and public speakers like me know that audience sympathy contributes a lot to efficacy in their homilies or talks. People who only want entertainment will not find a serious homily or talk acceptable, while those who expect to hear what they want to hear will not find the topic interesting if it does not touch on what they expect.

But we know the full story. The Lord fulfilled His mission despite the rejection. He did not just cure the sick by the laying on of hands. He actually laid down His life for you and me and them — yes, including those who did not accept Him. Instead of a tripping stone, the Lord became a stepping stone for us on our way to fullness of life and salvation. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you a stepping stone or a tripping stone for someone you know?

Let me be a stepping stone to the people You bring into my life, Lord. Amen.



10 Surprising Facts About Rejection

Research finds that rejection affects intelligence, reason, and more.

Post published by Guy Winch Ph.D. on Jul 03, 2013 in The Squeaky Whee

We know that rejection really hurts, but they can also inflict damage to our psychological well-being that goes well beyond mere emotional pain. Here are 10 lesser known facts that describe the various effects rejection has on our emotions, thinking, and behavior. Let’s begin by examining why rejection hurts as much as it does:

  1. Rejection piggybacks on physical pain pathways in the brain.fMRI studies show that the same areas of the brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. This is why rejection hurts so much (neurologically speaking). In fact our brains respond so similarly to rejection and physical pain that…
  2. Tylenol reduces the emotional pain rejection elicits.In a study testing the hypothesis that rejection mimics physical pain, researchers gave some participants acetaminophen (Tylenol) before asking them to recall a painful rejection experience. The people who received Tylenol reported significantly less emotional pain than subjects who took a sugar pill. Psychologists assume that the reason for the strong link between rejection and physical pain is that…
  3. Rejection served a vital function in our evolutionary past.In our hunter/gatherer past, being ostracized from our tribes was akin to a death sentence, as we were unlikely to survive for long alone. Evolutionary psychologists assume the brain developed an early warning system to alert us when we were at risk for ostracism. Because it was so important to get our attention, those who experienced rejection as more painful (i.e., because rejection mimicked physical pain in their brain) gained an evolutionary advantage—they were more likely to correct their behavior and consequently, more likely to remain in the tribe. Which probably also explains why…
  4. We can relive and re-experience social pain more vividly than we can physical pain.Try recalling an experience in which you felt significant physical pain and your brain pathways will respond, “Meh.” In other words, that memory alone won’t elicit physical pain. But try reliving a painful rejection (actually, don’t—just take my word for it), and you will be flooded with many of the same feelings you had at the time (and your brain will respond much as it did at the time, too). Our brain prioritizes rejection experiences because we are social animals who live in “tribes.” This leads to an aspect about rejection we often overlook…
  5. Rejection destabilizes our “Need to Belong.”We all have a fundamental need to belong to a group. When we get rejected, this need becomes destabilized and the disconnection we feel adds to our emotional pain. Reconnecting with those who love us, or reaching out to members of groups to which we feel strong affinity and who value and accept us, has been found to soothe emotional pain after a rejection. Feeling alone and disconnected after a rejection, however, has an often overlooked impact on our behavior…
  6. Rejection creates surges of anger and aggression. In 2001, the Surgeon General of the U.S. issued a report stating that rejection was a greater risk for adolescent violence than drugs, poverty, or gang membership. Countless studies have demonstrated that even mild rejections lead people to take out their aggression on innocent bystanders. School shootings, violence against women, and fired workers going “postal” are other examples of the strong link between rejection and aggression. However, much of that aggression elicited by rejection is also turned inward…
  7. Rejections send us on a mission to seek and destroy our self-esteem.We often respond to romantic rejections by finding fault in ourselves, bemoaning all our inadequacies, kicking ourselves when we’re already down, and smacking our self-esteem into a pulp. Most romantic rejections are a matter of poor fit and a lack of chemistry, incompatible lifestyles, wanting different things at different times, or other such issues of mutual dynamics. Blaming ourselves and attacking our self-worth only deepens the emotional pain we feel and makes it harder for us to recover emotionally. But before you rush to blame yourself for…blaming yourself, keep in mind the fact that…
  8. Rejection temporarily lowers our IQ.Being asked to recall a recent rejection experience and relive the experience was enough to cause people to score significantly lower on subsequent IQ tests, tests of short-term memory, and tests of decision making. Indeed, when we are reeling from a painful rejection, thinking clearly is just not that easy. This explains why…
  9. Rejection does not respond to reason.Participants were put through an experiment in which they were rejected by strangers. The experiment was rigged—the “strangers” were confederates of the researchers. Surprisingly, though, even being told that the “strangers” who had “rejected” them did not actually reject them did little to ease the emotional pain participants felt. Even being told that the strangers belonged to a group they despised such as the KKK did little to soothe people’s hurt feelings. Still, the news is not all bad, because…
  10. There are ways to treat the psychological wounds rejection inflicts.It is possible to treat the emotional pain rejection elicits and to prevent the psychological, emotional, cognitive, and relationship fallouts that occur in its aftermath. To do so effectively we must address each of our psychological wounds (i.e., soothe our emotional pain, reduce our anger and aggression, protect our self-esteem, and stabilize our need to belong).



The Story of a man asking, ‘what time” to a woman. But the woman answered: “Dili ko.”…..

Rejection started even when the child was still in the womb of a mother (abortion). Bullying in the schools and families; calling others with different names; during the time of Jesus, if you are a carpenter, you would remain a carpenter; in Christianity – there are things you reject and accept. You accept Jesus and His teaching and reject violence, etc.


February 03, 2016

REFLECTION: There is a close parallel between today’s two readings—despite all contrary appearances. In both texts we see how far the incarnation of God’s Word goes.

It is obvious in the gospel scene. Jesus is so completely human and ordinary (a village carpenter) that his townspeople cannot see beyond his humanity.

It is not so obvious in the first reading, because the Word of God is not a human person, and it is hidden under a horrible disfiguration of God, who appears to be nothing less than a serial killer. Thus throughout the Old Testament God is vilified, defamed, calumniated and accused of doing a thousand appalling actions which he never did. For, as Jesus tells us most solemnly, “the Father judges no one” (Jn 5:22). But is not the Bible the Word of God? Yes, Vatican II tells us, “but in human fashion” (Dei Verbum, n.12), that is, distorted by human brains to a point that, as Jesus-the-carpenter, it appears to be anything but the Word of God. Just as Jesus accepted to be spat on during his Passion, God the Father accepted to be spat on for hundreds of years by most writers of the Old Testament. Love is defenseless.


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WORD Today (2016.02.03); 2Sam 24:2, 9-17; Mark 6:1-6

“A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own time.”

When Christ visited His hometown, He could not perform miracles because the people he grew up with were too proud to accept that a “local boy” is now their Savior.

Pride is our great enemy. It was Lucifer’s downful. When we fall, pride makes us blame others for the consequences of our sins. David committed a sin that he confessed directly to God. But still God needed to send a human representative, a “local prophet,” to verbalize David’s penance. When David finally accepted the penance for his sin, God stopped the punishment.

God needs our humility to fix our errors. When we humbly confess before a “local priest,” we let God make our life beautiful again, (Fr. Francisco Bajos, 2016.02.03).


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Wednesday of the 4th Week of the Year

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