Homily: The Rejection at Nazareth

Homily, 14th Sunday O.T.,  Year B                        July 8. 2012

Ezekiel 2:3-5    Psalm 123:1-2a, 2b, 3-4   2Corinthians 12:7-10    Mark 6:1-6

Today’s Gospel: Jesus being amazed, astonished at the lack of faith. In sharp contrast with last Sunday’s Gospel passage, where Jesus is amazed at the profound faith of the   had approached him.

In today’s Gospel passage runs into a wall of disbelief; it is so strong that it incapacitates him. He cannot do a thing. He gets a first taste of rejection, of all places, at home. A familiar tactic is being used. They don’t like the message, so they discredit the messenger. You know how that goes. Who does he think he is? We know his parents…

It is interesting that the Gospel writer Mark included this sort of incident in his Gospel. Why? Is it to discredit the contemporaries of Jesus? That would be too easy.

Who are the hometown kin of Jesus today? Could it be us? Most of us have somehow grown up with Jesus. And that is a gift, a real grace. But there is a potential danger in that in the sense that, because we claim to know Jesus so well, we could be his toughest audiences, especially when he challenges us, when he tries to dislodge us from our comfort zones, when he summons us to conversion…. We needing conversion? I have been a Catholic all my life…

The story of today’s Gospel passage must make us at least willing to ask: what sort of Jesus do I permit entrance into my life? Is it a domesticated Jesus who serves my agenda? A Jesus that confirms everything that is agreeable to me, a Jesus that makes me feel good?

Do I allow Jesus entrance in my life as well when he challenges me, when he makes demands on me, when he summons me to conversion, to a new way of living, when I feel uneasy or uncomfortable with him?

Do we allow Jesus to be as effective with us as he wants to be? Surely, we would not want him to be amazed at the superficiality of our faith…., because that would prevent him from making us into new men and women, women and men of a new creation…

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