In today’s Gospel from St. Mark, Jesus has a tough time in “his native place.” Despite the apparent wisdom of his teachings, recognizing him as simply the son of Mary and brother and sister to those among them, “they took offense at him.” Jesus’ response is one we are familiar with: “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place.”
I suspect we tend to have an image of what prophets look like. When we hear the word we think of people like the prophets of the Old Testament – Ezekiel (who we hear about in our first Mass reading today), Isaiah and Micah – people who were special and set apart from others. In that sense, we are not dissimilar from the people in Jesus’ “native place,” making the same mistake they did.
The question (or questions) I encourage us all to reflect on is this: Do we recognize the prophets among us? In each other? Or are we like those who could not hear the Word from Jesus because he wasn’t’ what they expected a prophet to look like. (He as just one of them.)
Do we recognize the prophets who walk among us or do we dismiss them?