Saturday, July 08, 2006
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 9, 2006
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time - B
As the LORD spoke to me, the spirit entered into me and set me on my
feet, and I heard the one who was speaking say to me: Son of man, I am
sending you to the Israelites, rebels who have rebelled against me;
they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day.
Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you.
But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD GOD! And whether they
heed or resist-for they are a rebellious house- they shall know that a
prophet has been among them.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:7-10
Brothers and sisters: That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was
given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too
elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave
me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is
made perfect in weakness." I will rather boast most gladly of my
weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships,
persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am
weak, then I am strong.
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.
In a survey by the Wall Street Journal asking 10,000 people "What is
your greatest fear?" the answers indicated that the third greatest fear
was of death, and the second was loneliness. What was significant is
that the greatest fear of all was that of failure.
Failure is a powerful and problematic experience for all of us. It
touches us at our core and often saps our energy and clouds our
perception of reality. Fear of failure often overwhelms people today,
paralyzing them, keeping them from potential for change and growth.
It is important, therefore, that Mark's Gospel shows how Jesus was met
with rejection when he came to preach in his hometown of Nazareth to
demonstrate how Jesus was quite familiar with the experience of
rejection and failure.
In fact, Mark immediately follows his account of this incident with
Jesus' instructions to his disciples as he sent them to preach the
kingdom. In those instructions he states that they may not always be
blessed with success and positive responses to the Gospel message. Here
Mark shows, through the construction of his narrative, that he was well
aware of the issue that might easily challenge and discourage the
future mission of the Church.
Why the rejection and hostility of the people of Nazareth? Was it
because of his message? His message was the Gospel, the good news. In
fact, Jesus was announcing a year of favor - the Jubilee Year - quoting
the prophet Isaiah as Luke's Gospel tells us, Jesus read:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; therefore he has anointed me. He
has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to
captives. Recovery of sight to the blind, and release to prisoners to
announce a year of favor from the Lord." (Luke 4:18-19)
Then he announced, "Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your
hearing." (Luke 4:21) This last statement links the passage from the
prophet Isaiah to Jesus' own works and teaching. He has come to fulfill
the prophecy of Isaiah.
To the people of Nazareth, the message may be acceptable, but the
medium was not. Who is this Jesus, who is proclaiming the message? Why,
he is just a village craftsman. They grew up with him. They knew his
family and relatives. They bought plows, yoke, and other tools from
him. He was just one of them. How dare him making such outrageous
To make matters worse, Jesus challenges their narrow nationalistic
understanding of God's favor by citing the two historical examples of
God favoring the pagans over the Israelites - the widow of Sarephath,
whom God favored with a miracle over the many widows in Israel, and the
healing of Naaman, the Syrian leper over the many lepers in Israel.
This statement of Jesus in effect challenges their traditional way of
thinking. So, instead of listening to the prophetic voice of Jesus,
they tried to silence him.
>From this Gospel passage, we can see that what we are called to do by
Jesus regarding the nature of discipleship is to persevere. There is no
more certain route to failure than to give up too quickly and allow
self-pity and self-centeredness to take over.
There is no escape from mission, and even when people do not seem to
want to hear, we are expected to go on. Even if we are not responsible
for those who stubbornly refuse to listen to the Gospel, we cannot be
excused from our task. For it is God, who sends us out, and it is God,
who is ultimately rejected or accepted. The message we are to proclaim
is the focus, not our need for success to bolster our pride and
We are called to bring the love and hope of the Gospel in every area of
our lives in whatever form is possible and practical. There is no
turning away from the responsibility that is ours, and leave God to do
what God alone can deal with.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the continued recovery of Aida.
- for the speedy recovery of Cadio.
- for the personal intentions of Veronica Yap.
- for the speedy recovery of Mon Alegre's sister.
- for the continued recovery of Tito Cale.
- In thanksgiving: Fely B and family.
- for the special intentions of JR B.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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� 2006 Daily-Homily