A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Monday, August 30, 2004

Sounds familiar

The old saying “familiarity breeds contempt” resonates strongly with today’s readings. We see it most clearly in the Gospel, as the people of the town where our Lord grew up try to kill him, after having spoken “highly of him” at first. Our Lord saw through their fair sounding façade and challenged them directly.

What was the problem? Why does familiarity breed contempt? Sometimes it is because we are more fully aware of the flaws of those we know better, while we give others the benefit of the doubt. In the case of our sinless Lord, however, there was something else at work.

Familiarity gives a feeling of ownership and control. He is our neighbor. We know him. We’ve got him pegged.

The people of the town not only felt that way about our Lord, they also felt that way about God. He is our God. We know him. We’ve got him pegged.

Jesus Christ, our Lord and God, broke through the boundaries of ownership and control built by long familiarity. For their part, the people were threatened and tried to reassert control, even to the point of using lethal force, but the Lord was utterly beyond their control.

There are many lessons to draw from this narrative. For one thing, we should keep our expectations low when we attempt to minister to our families and friends. Also, we should be careful about our own relationship with God falling into a rut. We should always keep our minds open to the possibility of the Lord doing amazing things – even through that which is very, very familiar to us.