OH, the famous line of Christ: “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” He said this on one of those occasions that he was disappointed with the reaction of the people—this time his own townmates—to what he said and did.
In spite of being initially astonished by what he said and the manner with which he spoke, his own people took offense at him instead. They found him too much for them, he who was supposed to be just like them.
“Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” they asked in disturbing disbelief.
It’s a sad phenomenon that continues to happen up to now. We can take God for granted—God who comes to us, who makes Himself like us, who even assumes our own faults, but who also comes to help us, purify and redeem us.
He actually intervenes in our life all the time. He is inside us and around us. He is in everyone and in everything, both big and small. He is in the ordinary and extraordinary things, the regular and special events in our life.
We have to be more aware of this predicament and start to do something about it. In fact, given the way we are at the moment, we need to do something about it in a more serious and systematic way. Away with a casual attitude toward this issue!
We should not be surprised that we have the great tendency to take God for granted. That’s because we have our own limitations and imperfections that are aggravated by our sins that, in turn, if not corrected, can harden into vices—blinding, desensitizing vices.
With that predicament, it is not surprising that we can be so full of ourselves, so smug that we cannot relate anymore to others whom we can see, much less to God whom we do not see.
Yes, we can still relate ourselves to others, but this time treating them not as persons but more as objects and instruments to be used according to our own self-serving game plans.
Yes, we can also still relate ourselves to God, but this time treating him more as some ornament or prop to support a certain image that we can still find useful in some self-serving way at the moment.
We need to nourish our faith such that we can recognize God in everything, even in the most ordinary and insignificant events of the day. We should see to it that it is God with whom we should be most excited to be with, and not any other motive.
For this, we have to remind ourselves of the many reasons why we ought to be always in awe at God. We should not take Him for granted, which is what we usually do.
We have to learn to count our many blessings and make them our immediate paths to bring us to God. They are effective and tremendous means to keep us in touch with God and lead us to think of God and to participate actively in His providence over us.
That we are still alive, that we are relatively healthy, that there is still air to breathe, food to eat, water to drink, that our planet still works in spite of calamities—these are some blessings that we often take for granted, but which are actually strong reasons to be excited and most thankful to God.
If we just give a pause to consider them slowly once again, savoring their deeper significance, they can open our eyes and heart to the wonderful world of our faith, of encountering the living Christ in the midst of the ordinary events and circumstances of our life.
We obviously need to be humble to be able to do this. Our tendency is to allow ourselves to be ruled only by our feelings, worldly estimation of things, the prudence of the world that often cannot penetrate the spiritual and supernatural realities breathing in our midst. Our tendency is to deaden our spirit or to let it be dominated by the flesh.
With humility, we activate our faith, releasing our mind and heart from the grip of passing mundane realities, and leading us to count our blessings, since these bring us to the essential, the ultimate, the eternal—that is, to God.