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Blind Prejudice

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Memorial of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

“A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” (Mark 6:4)

I remember when our kids were younger, and they would come ask me a question. If they didn't like my answer or didn't hear what they thought they would hear, they would seek out another person (mom) in search of the answer they wanted. It happens in business as well. There is the expression that an expert is someone who comes from more than 50 miles away. For some reason consultants from outside an organization often bring credibility over those within the organization … even if they say the same thing. 

When Jesus returned to Nazareth, people could not see Him for the prophet He had become. They could only see Him as a carpenter, the son of Mary and Joseph, the boy they had watched grow up. They asked each other, "Where did He get all His wisdom and power?" They were bothered by how others could be impressed by Jesus. They rejected His authority because He was one of their peers. They thought they knew Him, but their notions about who He was made it impossible for them to accept Him and His message.

A few years ago I attended a college homecoming reunion with several of my fraternity brothers. I was shocked to find out that one of them had become a pastor. If you had known him in college like I did, you would understand my shock. It was a struggle to relate to the man he had become because, like the people of Nazareth, I couldn't get past seeing him as the person I remembered.

If we are not careful, we can let our prejudices blind us from the truth. Jesus didn't let the people's attitude toward Him change who He was or make His work any less important.  Jesus didn't waste time with the people's pride and disbelief. He looked elsewhere, seeking those who would respond to His message. Likewise, we may find ourselves in similar situations. We just need to remember that we don't need to be thought of as special or respected to be useful to God.

Father God,

forgive us for the times we let our prejudices cloud our vision or control our actions.

Open our eyes to the truth so that we can see clearly the path You have made for us. Guide us to do Your work

and continue to reach out to those who can’t see You for who You really are. Amen.

Tom Clark
Regional President and CEO, Avera Queen of Peace Hospital

2 SAMUEL 24:2, 9-17 • PSALM 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7 • MARK 6:1-6

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