Mark Twain (Samuel Clemmons) defined an expert as “an ordinary fellow from another town.” Will Rogers claimed an expert is “a man 50 miles from home with a briefcase.” These two men, both born in the 19th century, quipped about a human phenomenon that’s been around since at least the time of Jesus.
Sunday’s Gospel finds Jesus teaching in his hometown synagogue to people who can’t believe this local boy is capable of such wisdom and of performing mighty deeds. In Jesus’ statement, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house” (Mark 6:4), he alludes to the Hebrew prophets whom the people of their times had also rejected.
How many times have you not expected much from the everyday people in your life—your family members, friends, coworkers—and looked beyond them to find better guidance and wisdom? Might you be overlooking the prophets in your midst? Might you also be called to serve as a prophet for those you encounter in your home, neighborhood, parish, and workplace? We need to be careful not to sell ourselves—and those who share our daily lives—short.
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