• Michael Haldas


“We learn that the Lord’s own relatives do not believe that He is a prophet, much less God Incarnate: “For even His brothers did not believe in Him” (vs. 5). Similar doubts circulate in Nazareth, as reported by Saint Matthew when the Lord Jesus preaches in His home synagogue. In response to this ambivalence, our Lord makes His famous statement, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and in his own house” (Mt 13:57). Familiarity breeds contempt, and may influence people to dismiss the truth when it is right before their eyes.” (OCPM 5/9/2017)

“It is interesting how the word “familiar,” when used as a noun can mean “a close friend or associate” or “a demon supposedly attending and obeying a witch, often said to assume the form of an animal.” Not that the latter definition is used anymore outside of perhaps fantasy stories, but the word’s dichotomous meanings do speak to something about us. Consider Mark 6:1-7 and how Christ’s own people of His hometown rejected Him. Consider how many times in the Gospel accounts Jesus heals His own people, the Jews, of unclean spirits. This all speaks to our human condition of rejecting the good and goodness right in front us because it comes from someone too familiar to us, and embracing the wrong things because we are enamored by the unfamiliar.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“After the reading, the people of Nazareth wait to see how Jesus will interpret the prophet’s words. He immediately declares Isaiah’s message to be fulfilled by Him, through the ministry He is conducting throughout Galilee. This claim elicits the first sign of resistance, as they ask each other, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” Familiarity often clouds our spiritual awareness. It leads to false expectations and assumptions that block the hearing of those closest to us. A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and in his own house” (Mt 13:57). Familiarity breeds contempt, and may influence people to dismiss the truth when it is right before their eyes.” (Dynamis 9/26/2014, 5/13/2014)

“As God’s divine word of salvation in human language, Scripture should evoke in us a sense of wonder. Do you ever feel, as you read or listen, that it has all become too familiar? Has the Bible grown rather boring? Continually we need to cleanse the doors of our perception and to look in amazement with new eyes at what the Lord sets before us. Some time ago I had a dream which I remember vividly. I was back in the house where, for three years as a child, I lived in boarding school. At first in my dream I went through rooms that were already familiar to me. But then the companion who was showing me round took me into other rooms that I had never seen be­fore—spacious, beautiful, full of light. Finally we entered a small chapel, with candles gleaming and dark golden mosaics. In my dream I said to my companion, “How strange that I have lived here for three years, and yet I never knew about the existence of all these rooms.” And he replied to me, “But it is always so.” (Metropolitan Kallistos Ware)

“There is a danger of changing patterns, of removing the familiar. For a plant to grow it must be allowed to put down roots. It will not grow if it is re-potted every day. Our people will not mature and grow spiritually if we keep changing things. They face enough changes in their daily lives; they need the safety of a familiar harbor in which to seek refuge from the storms of life.” (Fr. Constantine Nasr)

#OCPM #SacramentalLivingBlog #Dynamis #MetropolitanKallistosWare #FrConstantineNasr

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