Jesus began his public ministry in Nazareth. It was the town where he grew up and where all his close friends and family lived - a place where you would think he would receive a shower of affection and encouragement. But that's not how things turned out for Jesus.

The crowd appreciated his teaching up to a point, but when his words became a little more direct and disturbing, the Bible says that his listeners were so furious that they tried to kill him (Luke 4:28,29). Jesus did not even seek to justify his ministry: "But passing through the midst of them, he withdrew“.

From there he traveled to Capernaum, where he spoke to large audiences, performed miracles, and cast out demons. And everyone was delighted. "Stay with us, Jesus!" they told him. "You belong here." Who wouldn't want to stay in a place where everyone loves and appreciates you? But Jesus did not linger any longer in Capernaum, because he knew that others needed to hear his message.

There is an important lesson for us here. You see, Jesus was not acting out of rejection or acceptance of others. He was following the guidance of God's Spirit. If you can learn to follow God, whether you are accepted or rejected, you will be well on your way to fulfilling your calling to reach out to others. And on this day, start by praying.

Prayer of the day

"My Lord, my beloved God, help me to understand those who refuse to evolve or who refuse my help, as well as to free me from so many faults and misunderstandings, enlighten me with all your knowledge so that I am able to follow the right course.

So that I am able to decide clearly the best things and situations in my life, I ask for your help, Lord,

Lead me on the safe path that will transform me with hope and many blessings, not tears.

My Lord, God! Let me come to You with protected steps so that I don't get lost in the troubles of life. With Your grace, illuminating my path, I will then understand those who fail to recognize Your value.

Thank you, my Lord, for the life you have given me.


Thought and message of the day

Have you ever tried to help someone who didn't really want to be helped? Sometimes we think that if we could explain things a little more clearly or be a better witness, we could help that person. But we must discern when it is appropriate to absolve ourselves of misplaced responsibility.

When Jesus sent out his disciples in Matthew 10, he told them that if the inhabitants of a city reject them, they should shake the dust off their feet and move.

What does this word mean for Christians today? The idea is that if someone doesn't want to be helped, we can continue to pray for that person, but we don't need to try to change them ourselves.

The world is full of hungry, suffering, and needy people who would welcome the slightest gesture of love or encouragement that you could give them. So don't let yourself get stuck when someone rejects you. Do what Jesus did. Go to the next one and so on until you find someone who will accept what you have to give.