They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!” And they took offense at Him.

Today we encounter Jesus getting a lot of push back. His hometown people hated Him. Jesus was so offensive to them that they revolted. The text of our Opening Hymn came to life:  Ah! sinful nation, people laden with wickedness, evil race, corrupt children! They have forsaken the Lord, spurned the Holy One of Israel, apostatized. If you abandon Him, He will abandon you.

And, that is what Jesus did, He left them because of their lack of faith and trust. It was beyond His power to move their hearts because they refused His grace, they rejected the love of God and God’s gifts placed before them.

This experience of Jesus is much like our own, isn’t it? His experience tells us something about ourselves and what we can do in the face of push back. It is Jesus’ revelation of our likeness to Him and a call to His service even when we are faced with challenges.

We have many gifts. We are not really different from Jesus because we share in His gifts and in our ability to use them for the Kingdom. He calls us to grow our gifts through faith, trust, and confidence in Him and He lets us know that if we are part of His life, if we are with and in Him, He has us, is with us, and in us.

Jesus knows all the gifts we have. God, through the Holy Spirit, fills each of us with the gifts He wants us to have, those that will best build His Kingdom. God’s gifts are never pointless. Some gifts we hold in common; some are unique to each of us. Some of the gifts we have are fully present in us right now and others will emerge in the future, in God’s time and according to His plan.

For our part we must be open to using the gifts God has given us for His glory and praise. We must do that in practical ways that build His Kingdom.

Some of those practical ways are giving God the credit for the gifts people see in us, our talents and intellect, our smile and joy, our seriousness and concern, our charity and compassion. We are to call people into the Kingdom and bring them into the Church. We are to show them the way to life by our witness to our friends, parents, and relatives. We are to accept Jesus and all the gifts He offers. We are to let people know we said yes to Jesus, yes to His grace.

Like Jesus, we will get ignored, people will push back. It is not that they do not see our gifts, but their sin corrupts their view of the gifts we offer and Who and what we work for. That push back doesn’t really matter because in the end, like Jesus, we will have victory! In the end the Kingdom will be built through our gifts.