Since I was a child, when something is bothering me, or something happens that disturbs me, I tend to go quiet, to sink into myself. It takes a while for me to come back up for air and be able to talk about the issue(s) that sunk my spirits. I usually am able to function fairly well with my game-face on, but people who know me well can see that I am wearing my game-face. I keep doing the things I am called upon to do, perhaps just not as fully engaged as I normally am.
These thoughts came to mind as I was reading our selection from the Gospel of Mark today, where Jesus returns to his hometown and does not receive a tremendously warm welcome. The townsfolk look at him, point to his mother and his four brothers and his unnamed sisters and say Who the heck does he think he is? We know better!..... And Jesus was amazed by their reaction, their unbelief.
I can't help but wonder what Jesus really felt. Was he hurt? Was he angry? Did their reaction depress him? Right after this happens he sends the twelve out, two by two, to heal those in the surrounding villages. Was that sending a reaction to his hometown's betrayal? Jesus had to be, at the least, disappointed with the people with whom he grew up. Whatever that emotion was that he felt, Jesus did not let their inability to see who he had grown to be, stop him from doing what he was called to do.
Disappointments are a part of life. Not a fun part, but still a part. We are given a model of how to react: keep on doing what we know we are called on to do, shaking the dust off our sandals of the ones who would stop us. Not easy, but a necessary thing to do if we are to be true to our calling.
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.