From the earliest days of his public ministry, Jesus experienced the sting of rejection.  Visiting his hometown synagogue in Nazareth, he read from the prophet Isaiah, and all were amazed.  We can infer from his response to the crowd—“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place”—that his message was not what the people anticipated, that he was not whom they wanted.  Jesus’ own kinfolk unceremoniously drove him out of town.

We all like to be praised for witnessing to the Gospel; there is, after all, comfort in “preaching to the choir.”  But when circumstances dictate, can we step out, with quiet steadfastness or confident boldness, to proclaim the inconvenient truth about Jesus?  Like Jesus, can we accept the sting of rejection?

—Fr. David Mastrangelo, S.J. is superior of the Taylor St. Jesuit community, Chicago, and director of Mission and Identity at Christ the King Jesuit High School, Chicago.