Pope Francis on July 8, 2018, recounted the rejection Jesus suffered at the hands of his own community, citing the gospel reading of the day from Mark’s sixth chapter.
The Holy Father’s comments came before praying the noonday Angelus with the crowd of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square.
In the reading, Jesus comes home to Nazareth after performing many great deeds, but his authenticity soon is questioned when he performed less miraculously than the locals expected.
“He had not set foot in His homeland. He returned. Therefore, the whole country was ready to hear this son of the people, whose reputation as wise Teacher and powerful healer now spread throughout Galilee and beyond,” Pope Francis explained. “However, what could have been a success, turned into a resounding rejection, to the point that Jesus was unable to work any miracles there, but only a few healings (Cf. v. 5).”
The people were “scandalized” because, despite Christ’s reputation throughout the country, they still saw him as a simple carpenter, uneducated and unqualified.
“According to the inhabitants of Nazareth, God is too great to lower Himself to speak to such a simple man!” the Pope continued. “It’s the scandal of the Incarnation: the disconcerting event of a God made flesh, who thinks with the mind of a man, works, and acts with the hands of a man, loves with the heart of a man, a God who gets tired, eats and sleeps like one of us.”
The Holy Father warned that even today people can fall into this sort of “prejudice” and “we must force ourselves to open our heart and mind to receive the divine reality that comes to meet us.”