This weekend’s Gospel, appointed for the same day that people in the USA are observing Independence Day, recounts an unusual event in Jesus’ life – when he is amazed at people rather than them being amazed by him.
The beginning of the reading tells of how Jesus’ childhood friends and neighbors couldn’t imagine that he was anything more than the child who had grown up beside them. And when he performed miracles and taught with authority, they had no way of recognizing the greatness that was in our midst. That experience is rather common with all us. Not the encounter with the Only-Begotten Son of God, but of a childhood friend who turns out to be much more than we anticipated.
Jesus experience with the people among whom he grew up is reminder for us that the folks around us, every one of them, while familiar, and sometimes easy to overlook, are gifted and infinitely valued by God. And that insight is actually a key pillar for the democracy we are still trying to perfect.