Scripture Reading: Mark 6:1-6
Welcome to another Sunday encounter with God through His word. When the prophet, Samuel was looking for the right man to anoint as king over Israel, God sent him to the house of Jesse. Jesse’s grandmother was the Moabite, Ruth, and his great-grandma was the infamous woman of Jericho, Rahab. An unlikely family in which to find the most famous king of Israel. As if that were not enough, when Jesse brought out his eldest and most accomplished son to meet Samuel, God said, “No”, because, David was God’s choice.
It was no different with Jesus. Three questions are aimed at His right to minister and two are rhetorically suggesting that his family background and job were not a suitable foundation for being taken seriously. Instead of rejoicing in his apparent wisdom they criticised and refuse to believe. It was in Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, that he could heal only a few people. Why? Because they didn’t believe He is the Healer. They could not accept one of their own as being somehow greater than they were, even if it meant foregoing the healing he could have brought them. Faith and humility don’t travel without each other. Trusting Jesus means seeing yourself in need of Him.
Jesus unwilling to respond to signs on demand, points to the nature of His ministry. His healings are not magic events; Jesus’ healings are not separate from the faith of the recipient. Miracles are consequences of the grace of faith. In an atmosphere of faith, miracles are recognised. According to Stephen J. Binz,“The people of Nazareth cannot reconcile the ordinariness of the man they have known for years and the wisdom and mighty deeds of the one who stands before them. Their preconceived ideas about how God would act and should act became an obstacle that prevented the seed of God’s word from taking root within them. Like the other “outside” the people of Nazareth look but they do not perceive; they listen but they do not understand.”
St. Augustine of Hippo had a saying in Latin: crede, ut intelligas, “Believe that you may understand.”, St. Anselm of Canterbury is noted for his maxim: credo ut intelligam, “I believe so that I may understand.” From the above quotes, it is clear that the only way to understand Gods’ word, is to first believe it. For it is only through the gift of faith that we are enabled to assent fully and freely to the entire content of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ. Pope Francis advises us thus: “To grow in faith, we must be open-minded with God”, and “Be open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit”.
Ezek 2:2-5; Ps 123:1-2a.2bc.3-4(R.2ef); 2Cor 12:7-10; Accl Lk 4:18; Gosp Mk 6:1-6 FOURTEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR (B)
- Ask for mercy for times you have allowed familiarity with God’s messengers to cause you to lose confidence in His Word.
- Lord Jesus, give me a faith that will have absolute and unalloyed trust in You.
- Pray for the grace to be open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit.
Exercise: Don’t allow familiarity with God’s messengers to cause you to disregard them.
Meditation: Mark 6:4