Reflection on the Scriptures Fourteenth Sunday Gospel B Lack of faith

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 Fourteenth Sunday Gospel Year B

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. 

Jesus retuned to Nazareth, possibly to visit him mother Mary.

 When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished.  

Being a faithful observant of the Covenant, Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath. People had heard about him and so he was asked to teach after the readings from the scriptures.

We don’t know from Mark what he taught, but whatever he said, astonished the people. No one has taught like this before. He taught with authority not quoting other Rabbis. 

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. 

Their astonishment turned quickly to questioning, doubting and taking offense at a home town son having spoken so well.

They could not accept that he was of God. They knew him as one like them. They knew his background and his extended family. Was he not merely a carpenter by trade?  Calling him the son of Mary and not of Joseph may have been a slur against him? 

When they indicate his “brothers and sisters” these were probably cousins in his extended family. For we believe Mary had no other children.

They were trying to box him in and, in a sense, to try to control and harness 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.

It saddened Jesus to feel the rejection by his own townspeople and extended family. But he knew historically that this was the life of a prophet.

What saddened most was that, though he wanted to minister God’s love to them through signs and wonders, he could not because of their lack of faith. Only a few were open to his ministry. But seeing this did not change the closed mindset of the people.

Do we at times have a lack of faith in the person of Jesus Christ?

Do we sometimes put him in a box of our own making? 

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