January 31, 2018
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” (Mark 6:1-6)
These are the words of Jesus after He was rejected in His hometown. The people who lived in His native place could not wrap their minds around the fact that Jesus, that young man they had watched grow up, was “special” in some way. It made them uncomfortable, so better to reject the notion.
I think of this Gospel passage when people seem to pick and choose which teachings of the Catholic Church they will follow. We consider ourselves Catholic (so Jesus should be accepted) but they reject the teachings we don’t like or those that make us uncomfortable.
I am Catholic, but I choose to live with my partner outside of marriage…you know, to save money. I am Catholic, and social justice is important to me…but I get tired of all the free handouts. I am a pro-life Catholic, strongly anti-abortion…but I can’t concern myself with the needs of the elderly, the imprisoned, or the homeless. I am Catholic…but fudging a couple of numbers on my tax forms is OK; the government doesn’t deserve so much of my hard-earned money.
When we act as “cafeteria Catholics,” we are no different than the people in Jesus’ hometown who rejected Him.