July 5, 2009: 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus went to his own country, and his companions followed him. On the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses, and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. (Mark 6:1-3)
In this passage from St. Mark’s gospel, Jesus is back in his home town of Nazareth. People know him, or so they think they do. They found it hard to believe all that Jesus said and did. After all, he was just a carpenter and a neighbor, nobody important in their estimation. They were reducing who he was to his occupation and his family, and his home town. We might say they were putting Jesus “in a box,” refusing to open their minds and their hearts to what he was saying and doing. They lacked faith in him. Don’t we do that as well? We do it all the time to people around us. We have them figured out, or so we think!
Think about a time when somebody didn’t believe you had the ability to do something because they thought they knew you. How did you feel? You know there is more to who you are than what people know about you. Think about a time when you may have done the same thing to someone else. Don’t put limits on others. Remember the Golden Rule? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Don’t put limits on God. Pray for broad-mindedness and for faith that keeps growing.