Friday of the 17th Week of the Year

Lev 23:1,4-11,15-16,27,34-37; Matt 13:54-58

The Rejection at Nazareth


It is said that the hardest place for a preacher to preach is the church where he grew up. Similarly for a doctor, the hardest place to practice his profession is the place where people knew him as a boy. The same case can be said of Jesus. When he preached in the synagogue in Nazareth where he spent His younger years, his preaching was received with hostility and incredulity. His town mates rejected him. So he had to admonish them: “A prophet is respected everywhere, except in his hometown and by his own family.”

In today’s context a church congregation should not judge a preacher by his background and his family connections. Often the message of the gospel couldn’t bear the desired fruit, because of the prejudice of the people against the homilist.

Lord, help me to meet you in your priest that through him, I may be able to accept you at all times and in all places. (Fr. Fred Reyes, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


Parents say many nice things that are sometimes annoyingly delivered in a kind of ‘sermon,’ but what they say is beneficial to their children – self-discipline, studies, Sunday Masses, respect for elders, etc. The value of their words would be revealed in the successes of those who learned to follow and obey. Good Christian parents are “prophets”. Every good Christian who re-echoes or shares or encourages others to do a Christian deed is a prophet of God. This is particularly true when the Christian deed that is to be done entails some sacrifices.

A true prophet of God speaks the words of God. A prophet is God’s “microphone” or “amplifier.” The words of a prophet could be good to hear but they always disturb our consciences. Jeremiah was such a prophet. Jesus Christ was the prophet of God par excellence. People who heard them were filled with amazement. But the meaning and implications of their message were heavily laden with responsibilities. They found Jesus too much for them. Consequently, a prophet is normally rejected just like children protesting at their parents’ words or just like when some good Christians are branded as “corny” by their hearers. But the fact is that all Christians are supposed to be prophets of God like Jesus. Whatever kind of situation, season, time or place, the word of God is to be preached. Whether or not the hearers would find it platable or not, every Christian has to face rejection, even persecution. Sounds difficult? Well, the Lord never promised his followers a rose garden. But even then, a rose always has its thorns. (Fr. Fred Saniel, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


Narrow-mindedness is a violation against the capacity of a person to grow and improve.

We had a classmate way back in the college seminary who used to be the laughing stock of the class. He was often the subject of ridicule because of his inability to catch up with our lessons. One of our teachers would often comment that he was hopeless. But believe it or not, he is now a manager of a bank. In fact, he is doing very well. There is no doubt that he has improved a lot.

In dawned on me that our teacher was wrong. Every person, indeed, has the capacity to grow and improve. Failure to acknowledge this is tantamount to judging the power of the spirit in each of us.

The town mates of Jesus, in our gospel reading today, fell into this temptation. They were still imprisoned within their old image of Jesus as a son of ordinary parents, Mary and Joseph. They failed to recognize that every person is capable for growth and transformation. As a consequence, “Jesus did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.”

We are no more than the town mates of Jesus. The gospel is challenging us to liberate ourselves from biases and narrow-mindedness. Let us ask the Lord to open our eyes and minds. (Frt. Gerry Paat, SVD, Bible Diary 2006)


In the 13th chapter of Gospel according to St. Matthew, Jesus taught the crowd with the use of parables. The Jews were amazed at the content and the methodology of His teaching. But their admiration did not lead to an acceptance of His teaching because they had already prejudiced Him. Their bias and prejudice against Jesus can result only in a rejection of His teaching. And they rationalized their rejection by saying that He was only a son of a carpenter. And they also knew His mother and cousins – they were not known for their wisdom and great knowledge.

Bias and prejudice closed the mind and heart of the Jews to the teachings and testimony of Jesus. No amount of wisdom, no strong argument and no brilliance of teaching can make a biased person accept what he has already prejudged. If Jesus did not come from the elite class of society – who was he to teach the scribes and Pharisees, the inner and exclusive club of learned people?

What is our perception of Jesus? What is our attitude towards Him? Do we have some biases against Him? We may be thinking that following Jesus means getting out the fun of living. We want to enjoy life. So we reject Jesus saying that His teaching is obsolete and not responsive to the needs of this generation. We may be overwhelmed by the harshness of life and are looking for a god who will solve for us the mystery of evil. So we reject Jesus by convincing ourselves and others that Christianity is but an opium of the people. We may  see His teaching on hard work and honesty as an onerous burden in our desire to get rich in a quick and easy way. So we dismiss the teachings of Jesus as anti-poor.

One needs an open mind to be able to accept the teachings of Jesus. We must ask ourselves what are our own biases, prejudices, cope-outs, hangouts, and emotional baggage that account for our being blind and deaf to His words. (Fr. Ernie Lagura, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


These days we hear of people being honored for being successful and for putting the name of their country into the map. In the gospel today Jesus said that a prophet is always given honor except in his own house or place. He was not only denied of this honor, he was also put to death in the most shameful way, death on the cross. Behind it all was the specter of envy and ignorance. Can you imagine, they even took offense at his wisdom!

A teacher had a peculiar habit of bowing to his pupils at the start of the class. The principal had noticed this habit and one day, he asked him why. The teacher said, “Sir, in each of these children resides so much potential. You never know if one of them would one day become the president of this country!”

Unfortunately, not all of us have such a positive outlook on the dignity of each person. Jesus Himself was put in a category box and had to suffer for it. They knew His parents and relatives. So he had to be put back into His proper place. Remember the saying, “familiarity breeds contempt.” But again, did they really know Jesus? if they did, as St. Peter said in his post-Pentecost homily, they would not have killed Him.

Even today, it is not easy to see Jesus in everyone, especially in those who often annoy us. But it is a blessing to be able to see Jesus in a person. In doing so, we are also recognizing the Lord’s presence in ourselves. Let us check if that presence has changed us! (Fr. Carlos Lariosa, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


Homecomings and reunions are usually joyful events. Everyone is glad to see everyone else, ready to swap success stories and experiences. Winners and champions are usually welcome with parades and grand celebrations.

In the gospel, however, we find a very different kind of homecoming, one that is not marked by the events and happenings mentioned earlier. Instead of being proud, happy and honored to welcome a native back home, someone who have become famous elsewhere through his preaching, miracles and power over unclean spirits, Jesus’ own people started putting Him in His proper place as an upstart “carpenter’s son.”

The reason for this negative reaction to Jesus is envy. This capital sin cannot accept being inferior to others, no matter what. And it must seek to put the envied one down “where he belongs.” No wonder Jesus did not do much there due to their envy and lack of faith.

We have to check ourselves in case envy rears its ugly head when we perceive others to be better, richer or more powerful than we are. Likewise we need to strengthen our faith in Jesus, God and man, Word-become-flesh. Otherwise, he can’t do much, if at all, in our lives either. (Fr. Lino Nicasio SVD Bible Diary 2015)


When people become famous and self-made in various field of life, some become overly conscious of their image. Hence, they end up sanitizing their life story of unpleasant and embarrassing events and details. Not so with Jesus. Although he began to be known as a reputable miracle worker and prophet, a self-made rabbi of sorts, he still was known as the “carpenter’s son.” The Gospel of Mark (6:3)even identifies Jesus Himself as the “carpenter.” Yes, the Divine is a worker! Work, then, could be a way to commune and be one with the Divine.  It is not just a practical way, but it is lived spirituality.

Work = Love. One of the many reasons why we work and keep on working is our concern for family and for those who are dependent on us for life and necessities. We may not say it with eloquent and romantic words, but when we work to have food on the table, when we work to sustain our children or our brethren in their schooling, when we work to assure our family of a descent future, we are actually expressing from our hearts our sincere and committed love for these people who are God’s gift to us.

Work = Thanksgiving. Work is making the best out of our time, our health, our natural abilities and our natural acquired talents. Done well, work is then a token of our thanksgiving to, and adoration of God who is the Creator and Source of all.

Work = Service. Doing our task conscientiously is a service to those who come to be served, as well as to those who work in a team with us. (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP, New Every Morning New Evreyday p. 234)


v. 58: “Jesus did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.” There are times that no matter what we do or how we give our best, the situation. Just seems not favor of us or people reject us. Just do the best you can. Let the pain go. And like Jesus, move on…. And move out (Fr. Ching OP).


Friday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time (Year C) – Mateo 13:54-58. Sayon ba ang pagdala sa mensahe sa Dios ngadto sa uban? Basi sa kasinatian, ang pagpasabot og tawo sa kamatuoran o sa kabubut-on sa Dios dili sayon. Adunay magpabungol-bungol, adunay pilosopo, ug adunay magbiay-biay kanato. Bisan gani diha sa atong pamilya, posible nga adunay sakop nga gahi og ulo ug dili nato madala ngadto sa Ginoo. Gani, daghang mga ginikanan ang masakitan pag-ayo tungod niini. Bisan tuod malisod, dili nato angay talikdan ang atong kaakohan isip mga propeta sa Dios. Diha sa ebanghelyo, si Jesus mismo nakasinati og pagsalikway gikan sa iyang katawhan ug kaparyentihan. Apan bisan pa niini, nagpadayon siya sa pagtuman sa misyon nga kaniya gisangon. (Fr Abet Uy)


FRIDAY OF THE 17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – MATEO 13:54-58. Sayon ba ang pagdala sa mensahe sa Dios ngadto sa uban? Basi sa kasinatian, ang pagpasabot og tawo sa kamatuoran o kaha sa kabubut-on sa Dios lisod kaayo nga buhaton. Adunay magpabungol-bungol, adunay pilosopo, ug adunay magbiay-biay kanato. Bisan gani diha sa atong pamilya, posible nga adunay sakop nga gahi og ulo ug dili nato madala ngadto sa Ginoo. Gani, daghang mga ginikanan ang masakitan pag-ayo tungod niini. Apan bisan tuod malisod, dili nato angay’ng talikdan ang atong kaakohan isip mga propeta sa Dios alang sa uban. Diha sa ebanghelyo, si Jesus mismo nakasinati og pagsalikway ug pagtamay gikan sa iyang katawhan ug kaparyentihan. Apan bisan pa niini, nagpadayon siya sa pagtuman sa misyon nga gisangon kaniya sa iyang Amahan: ang pagdala sa mga tawo ngadto sa kamatuoran. Posted by Abet Uy


Reflection for Friday August 1, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor; Matthew 13:54-58Reflection: What if Jesus was a doctor during His time; would they treat Him differently? Would they treat Him in high esteem instead of belittling Him? Of course His townmates would have treated Him with high respect for He was a doctor. But the reality was He was a carpenter and a carpenter’s son; so they belittled Him and as a result Jesus did not do many miracles in their place.

Sad to say but this is also happening to us, we have different measures for different people. Many of us treat the rich and educated with high esteem and we regard differently those who are poor and less educated.

Education and status in life is a deceiving standard to gauge the morality, sincerity and kindness of a person. In the heart of an ordinary person we often times find moral fitness, sincerity and kindness this we often fail to recognize for the reason that we already judge them based on their life’s status. The town mates of Jesus failed to discover this in Jesus because they judge Him based on His life’s status. If only they did not disparage Jesus they could have discovered the gentleness of Jesus but they belittled Him for He was just an ordinary carpenter’s son for them.

Perhaps one of the many lessons the gospel imparts to us is not to belittle anyone regardless who they may be. For we don’t know the purity of their hearts.  Who knows the people that we belittle are the ones with pure hearts and the ones who will be there for us in our time of need.

Are we quick to judge others because they are poor and less educated? Posted by: Marino J. Dasmarinas


14 YEARS IN PRISON: “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” — Matthew 13:57

Margaret was born a dwarfed hunchback. She was deformed, lame and imprisoned her in a tiny cell far from their house for 14 long years. One day, they simply abandoned her. By God’s grace, a kind priest came to know her and introduced God to her. She gave her life to Jesus. She was able to get out of her prison and join the Dominican Third Order.

Because of the suffering she went through, she understood the suffering of others. She knew what it meant to be imprisoned. She would visit prisoners and share God’s love to them. Because she was physically deformed, she would visit hospitals and share God’s love to the sick and dying.

Because of this, the Catholic Church beatified her and she became the patron saint of the crippled and the unwanted. Her incorrupt body lies in a church in Castello, Italy.

Margaret’s past was not perfect. In fact, it was evil. But it prepared her for her purpose. As the Bible says, what was intended by the enemy to harm you, God will transform it for your good (Genesis 50:20). Bo Sanchez (

Reflection: Have you experienced being rejected and trampled on by people dear to you? Keep doing good and God will save you from harm.

Dear Lord, amidst all the suffering that I have to go through in life, grant me the grace to follow Your example of forgiveness and compassion.


1ST READING: Today we celebrate the feast of one of the greatest moral theologians of the is not much in vogue today but his contribution to it will remain forever. He was a priest who had a great love for the poor and was horrified at the priests’ lack of attention to the rural areas. The congregation he founded, the Redemptorists, is well known for the parish missions they give, a remnant of their mission to bring the Gospel to the people living in the rural areas. Jeremiah 26:1-9

GOSPEL: Sometimes the most difficult people to evangelize are those closest to us. Why? They know us so well that they find it difficult to accept any radical changes that have happened to us. Our lived witness of the Gospel is so important because, over time, they will see that faith in Christ has made a difference in our lives. Matthew 13:54-58

think:  Sometimes the most difficult people to evangelize are those closest to us.


THE ORIGIN OF TRUE WISDOM: The people marvel at the way Jesus refutes their questions and accusations, as well as His eloquence in preaching through parables. He has captured their attention through His words and they now wonder about His origins as they have never heard someone speak like Him before.

Some people have a gift for speaking that leaves their audience enraptured. Jesus seems to be one of such people. It does not hurt Jesus’ cause that He is also able to perform spectacular healing miracles and the like. However, Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, says that he does not possess such eloquence and attributes the power of his preaching to its content, which is the Gospel. If Paul speaks the truth, then Jesus has even more going for Him than we thought as the content of His preaching is the Gospel – the same as St. Paul’s.

It is not surprising then that Jesus, the Son of God, who is sometimes referred to as the “Word of God,” speaks with extraordinary power and authority. He has in abundance everything that could help Him in His mission. And yet there were many who have heard Him speak, but still rejected the message.

Jesus knows this will be the case, as He tells us that a prophet finds it very difficult to convince those closest to him, those who know him the most, of his message. Perhaps because they have known the prophet for a long time, they find it difficult to accept that the conversion that is happening in the prophet’s life would enable him to speak with the wisdom of God.

Let us pray that we will not be among those who reject the Gospel because we are too familiar with the one who proclaims it to us. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you tend to doubt when someone close to you suddenly preaches or proclaims the Word of God?

Jesus, You proclaimed the Gospel without fear of or favor to the people around You. Help me to receive it humbly and share it with others, particularly those who have never heard the Gospel.


Lack of Faith

July 31, 2015 (readings)

Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

Matthew 13:54-58

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where 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 native place and in his own house.” And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in your power. I know that you are the Lord of all history. I trust that you are guiding my life. Thank you for showing me that you will triumph. Thank you for the triumph you have already achieved in my heart and in the hearts of so many people. I want to allow you to have total control over my life.

Petition: Lord, increase my faith in you.

  1. Too Much Familiarity:The people of Nazareth thought they knew all about Jesus. He had grown up among them. Apparently they had not seen anything extraordinary about him before he started his public ministry. They thought he was just like everyone else. So when they hear that he is doing miracles and teaching with authority, they do not believe it. Sometimes I also run the danger of putting limits on Christ’s power in my life. I see the unimpressive circumstances of my life and the recurrence of the same old problems. I do not believe that Christ can do something supernatural in the midst of an ordinary situation. Today I am receiving an invitation to step beyond the routine and believe more deeply in the power of Christ.
  2. An Unwelcome Prophet:The solution to their deepest problems was in their own backyard. Yet, the people of Nazareth felt that such a familiar figure could not bring anything extraordinary. When the Church sometimes challenges me with some of her teachings – on charity, on family life, on the need to be a courageous witness –, do I sometimes find excuses, like saying that my circumstances are too difficult, or the Church does not understand my situation? Do I sometimes let the prophetic voice of the Church die in my heart? When I feel challenged by the Gospel and by the Church I should be thankful. Christ is inviting me to discover the deepest meaning of my life. He is giving me a chance to allow his presence to make a deep change in my life. He is allowing me to discover him in faith and is taking me beyond my comfort zone to the level of the coming of his Kingdom.
  3. A Miracle Worker in Waiting:What sort of miracles does Christ want to do in my life? Christ has a plan to make my life a luminous witness to the power of his grace. He wants to fill my life with his holiness and help me be a light for others. If I can shake off my superficiality and lack of faith, I will discover the powerful presence of the Savior who helps me live each moment with depth and love. He can do miracles in my life. He can help me live the virtues which are most costly for me. Am I willing to take a risk for Christ and trust him totally?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I know you want to do great things in my life. Help me to see how you can transform the ordinary, seemingly unimportant circumstances of my day into moments when your grace triumphs. Enable me to be docile to your Holy Spirit, so he can do miracles in my life.

Resolution: I will increase my faith in Christ by taking a risk for him in some aspect of my spiritual or apostolic life.

© 1980-Present. The Legion of Christ, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Reproduced with Permission of Copyright Owner.


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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