Regardless of who we are, we have all experienced being “looked down at.” A friend shared his experience when he was growing up. Every Christmas season his family would go to their cousin’s place in a very upscale community. He and his siblings had this feeling that even if they were related, they were not “accepted.” Talk about having a poor relation or being a bad relative. Fast forward 35 years later, one of those same cousins approached him to borrow money. No more house in the very upscale community, no more flashy clothes and no more lifestyle of the rich and famous. Even worse, three years later, the loan has not been settled.
In the Gospel, we realize that Jesus was not exempted from the reality of human life. He too was looked down at. “Where did he get all this?”, “Isn’t he the carpenter?”, “Isn’t He the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon.” People judged and took offense with him.
My dear friends, three reflections on people who have experienced being looked down at.
- As far as the Lord is concerned, we are never defined by how much money we have, where we live, our educational attainment, the color of our skin, the cars we drive or the clothes we wear. In fact, Jesus once said, “You fool, this very night your life will be demanded of you and who will make use of everything that you worked hard for?”
- All of us have our own calling, mission and vocation. Hence, God has blessed us according to this vocation. Certainly, there are people with more material blessings than others. However, that is meant to help out others and not to make one feel more superior or put others down.
- Hopefully, the victim does not become the victimizer. We know that nothing is permanent in this life. Should the day come that God blesses you or your children with more than enough material wealth, never look down on others. You know what it is like to be looked down by others and remember that nothing is permanent.
In this Mass, we remember three things:
- First, we are all children of one God.
- Second, we came into this world with nothing and we are leaving this world with nothing.
- The people of Nazareth did not experience the miracles of Christ because they looked down on him. Hence, when we love our neighbor, no matter who they are, we encounter God and miracles.