Hometown Prophets

07-07-2024Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Richard C. Wilson, VF, Pastor

Dear Friends in Christ,

“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house” (Mark 6:4)

Through his life and words, a prophet always brings an air of novelty, a new plan, which if taken seriously puts our old habits and false securities in crisis. That is why he makes many people uncomfortable. Jesus arrives in Nazareth after a long journey of apostolic work and amazing miracles, but in his hometown, he finds opposition from his relatives. They reject his message and even the messenger. It’s the carpenter’s son! “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him?” (Mark 6:2)

The drama of mankind consists in not recognizing its Savior. It looks for truth but at the same time is a victim of its prejudices. How often we see this scene repeated today! “I believe Christ was a great man, but not God,” or “Yes to Christ, no to the Church.” And thus, we accept only a small part of the mystery of his person and reject his divinity. Christ torn to pieces! Partial or total, rejection of Christ is always tragic.

Today we need apostles that through their own lives are witnesses of Christ and with their teachings are our examples and teachers. Life’s trials and the world’s persecution are signs of purification and authenticity. Just as fire tests iron, so temptation tests the righteous man.

Saints bear their tribulations with serenity because they join them to the redemptive sufferings of Christ. Thomas de Kempis teaches us that “it is good that we sometimes suffer contradictions. This helps us to be humble and guards us from conceit.” That is, “often we don’t realize what we can do, but temptation uncovers what we are,” as Saint Augustine tells us.

The truth is, Christ is either all or nothing! Christianity is the affirmation of Christ’s divinity and Incarnation with all its doctrinal and practical consequences. Faith in Jesus Christ’s divinity is the first step toward divine life: Believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is the first condition required in order to be counted among his sheep. May we make Jesus’ prayer our own: “May we believe in him whom God has sent.”

All the best…in Christ,

Father Wilson