14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mark 6: 1-6
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. 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! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Those hearing Jesus teach and preach in his hometown could not see who he was. They could only see who they had determined him to be. He was the carpenter’s son, a member of a particular family with a particular status (or lack of one) in the community. They had limited expectations of Jesus beyond which they could not see. They didn’t bother to ask how he had become the person they were seeing now. They lacked openness to the power of God. They lacked faith. Shocked by this, Jesus left without performing any great miracles.
At one time or another, most of us have probably been guilty of forming a judgment about someone based on their appearance. Or because of a previous experience. Does this cause us not to see the other? Not to see Jesus in the other or in the marginalized? Does this make us closed to the power of God in our lives? Yet if we recognize gifts that others possess, and encourage those gifts, we all benefit. Reflect on how or when you’ve been blessed because your special gifts or talents were recognized. Consider how you can encourage the giftedness of people in your life, your family, your community during this coming week.