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Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

When we live with someone for many years, when we are brought up in the same house with people, we can become so accustomed to their ways of thinking and acting that without realizing it we put limits on their qualities and abilities. We expect them to say and do this, we don’t expect them to say or do that. Often, we don’t even give them a chance to be different from our idea of them. That’s the way it was with Jesus and his hometown people.

They knew him, at least they thought they did. They knew his parents, at least they thought they did. And even though they were filled with amazement at his teachings in their synagogue that day, they convinced themselves that it couldn’t happen again. The Jesus they knew just couldn’t be that smart. Jesus commented, “No prophet is without honor except in his native place, indeed in his own house.” And we are then told, “He did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”

Is it possible for us to get so used to having God in our lives that we put limits on him? Do we expect certain things of God but no more? And so, beyond those things we go out on our own? We shut God out?

Our present experience, our present problem is something that we might think is of no interest to him. It is out of his field. We don’t expect him to do anything about it. So we leave him out of the picture and try to take care of it on our own. We expect him to do nothing; we certainly don’t look for any miracles. This means we have lived with God so long that we think we know him, and our faith becomes limited by our expectations. Faith and trust in one another and certainly in God must grow. We must always leave room for it to grow broader, deeper, and higher.

The people of Nazareth wouldn’t allow that in themselves. Do you?

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