In the gospel, we heard that Jesus was rejected by His own people because he was a carpenter, the son of Mary and Joseph. We can identify with the story of Jesus’ rejection in His own town because such rejections happen to most of us, too. We might have experienced the pain of rejection caused by hurts, wounds, divorce, abandonment, or various forms of abuse.

Life is not always smooth and good. There are times when we feel we are down and feel low. There are moments when we are ignored, neglected, and rejected by people and by circumstances. We think certain people will stand by us in good times and bad times, but this is not always the case. It is very hard to accept that people will not be always loyal and faithful to us. Our challenge is to face the situation and how to respond properly and correctly! Let us ask God to give us listening and sensitive hearts so that we may be able to carry and manage the effects and pains of rejection and judgment.

Recently, I watched a movie called “The Letters,” directed by William Riead. This movie tells us of the life and legacy of Mother Teresa and that she wrote letters to her adviser and confessor, the priest Celeste Van. Mother Teresa wrote in her letters revealed that “Mother Teresa suffered from depression, and she was suffering a profound crisis of faith. She felt that “God had abandoned her” and she went through “a terrible emptiness.” Mother Teresa raised the question, “How long will my heart suffer?”

Mother Teresa continued saying that, “As we embrace our own prophetic stance, we must prepare ourselves to be rejected and if we are not rejected, maybe our message is not quite prophetic. Our prophecy is always marked by love, the greatest gift from God.” That is what made Mother Teresa such a powerful prophet and her whole life was marked by a zealous love. That is why Mother Teresa wrote, “If we remember that God loves us, and so we can love others as God loves us, then we can become a sign of Peace of the World.” Mother Teresa’s rejections, sufferings, and faith crises are great inspirations for our own personal lives, family lives, and ministry. We all go through the same situations that Mother Teresa went through; and we experience from people, family, and friends the rejections, criticisms that we should take as part of life, and we can take them in a positive way. Let us check also the other side of the coin. How often do we fail to see God’s image in others because of our own hardened hearts? We must realize that God’s power is always available to transform even the most unlikely people.

At the end of the gospel reading today, we noticed that “Jesus was not able to perform any miracles for them because of their lack of faith.” In our lives too, God cannot do many miracles due to our lack of faith. When do miracles happen? When we accept the goodness and beauty in others, especially in those who are with us, then miracles naturally take place. When we have trust in others, only then can miracles take place. Let us recognize God’s presence in our families and friends by accepting them as they are and trusting them without any judgments. Let us promote and encourage the goodness in others. Let us remember the words of St. Mother Teresa, “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

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