The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker~Br. Jesus Marin

54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”

58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith

Brothers and sisters; the Gospel tells us that Jesus returned to his native place. While preaching, many of the people listening to him started to question his knowledge on the subject, simply because of where he was from, because of his family trade, because of who his father and mother were. Many of these people had seen Jesus grow up, yet his wisdom was far greater than anyone there.  At this moment it reminds me of the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” in which one sees flashes of Jesus studying, working, and perfecting his family trade of carpentry.  “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” (14:55) One must wonder, isn’t God allowed to choose whoever he wants to carry his mission? Why are we so concerned with who God chooses, why do we have to stereotype who can and cannot be worthy to be God’s chosen one?

Sometimes I wonder how St. Joseph felt. If Jesus was being questioned because of his background, now imagine the difficulty that St. Joseph endured. A regular man with no special gifts that had to accept his future wife’s words that her pregnancy was a work of God. He had to stand against his own religious leaders and to trust God. Both of them probably were the talk of town. It must have been said that they were weak in the flesh since Mary was pregnant before they were married. He was responsible not only to raise a son who was God, but to teach him that we are all call to be witness to the dignity of our own labor. He had to do all this based on a dream, a dream that many could have had, but in his heart, it was not a simple dream, rather it was God’s vision, words and will. And yet he did it with strong faith becoming a yes man to God’s will.

Now, take a moment and meditate on how Jesus might have felt. Probably happy and excited at being in his hometown, ready to teach the good news, but instead, he came across people with hardened hearts, with hearts not open to suggestions. My dear brothers and sisters, today’s Gospel manifests for us the difference between believing and not believing. When we truly believe, we let God act in our lives and a true transformation happens, but when we do not believe and close the doors of our hearts to God, our lives are hindered.

Think of your lives, are we accepting God’s word as it should be? Are we giving people the chance that they deserve?  Or are we shutting them down? We must be good listeners; Jesus wants us to be builders of his kingdom and not destroyers of his mission. God’s kingdom includes all of his people, you, me, and our neighbor. We must come as a broken individual in need of God’s healing. God invites us to be men and women of faith and to let Him into our lives. We must not question his decision but instead we must ask the Lord to teach us to truly believe in him, to transform our bodies and faith so that others can see the transformation that occurs if one is with God.

Let us take advantage of the opportunities the Lord Jesus Christ affords us, and let God act, let it not be said of us “he did not do many miracles there,” but let it be said that we live in peace because Jesus is with us. Let us be men and women of faith who accept and do God’s will.