Faithful to His mission, even when the world rejects us
Today’s Gospel passage speaks about Jesus returning to his place of origin. He certainly could have hoped for more sympathy and understanding, but, on the contrary, he was rejected. They “hustled him out of the town” and were “intending to throw him off the cliff.” (Luke 4:29) In the face of this hostility, the reaction of Jesus was quite surprising: “But he passed straight through the crowd and walked away.” (v. 30) Jesus is fundamentally free, unreachable. These threats—even death itself—do not get to him, do not disturb him. He is unafraid.
We see signs of rejection even in the stories relating the birth of Jesus. Luke the Evangelist tells us that Mary “gave birth to a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the living-space.” (Luke 2:7) When Mary and Joseph presented Jesus at the temple, Simeon told Mary that the child would be “a sign that is opposed.” (Luke 2:34) Matthew the Evangelist adds that some time later Joseph fled with Mary and the child to escape persecution. Joseph knew, therefore, what it meant to be rejected. But remembering God’s words that the angel had spoken to him: “Do not be afraid to take
Mary home as your wife” (Matthew 1:20), Joseph remained faithful to her for the rest of his life.
Saint Brother André also remained faithful to his mission of care, even when he faced criticism and a lack of understanding. It can be said of him too that he was free and unreachable. In the face of criticism, he “walked away” and acted in accordance with his convictions and with God’s will. Today, as before, Christians remain true to the Lord and to their faith, and in the midst of the world they bear witness to their inner freedom that no one can take from them.