Saturday, July 04, 2015
14th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
July 5, 2015 - 14th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Cycle B, Green
Ez 2:2 - 5 / 2 Cor 12:7 - 10 / Mk 6:1 - 6
First Reading: Ez 2: 2 - 5
A spirit came upon me as he spoke and kept me standing and then I heard him speak,
"Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a people who have rebelled against me; they and their fathers have sinned against me to this day. Now I am sending you to these defiant and stubborn people to tell them 'this is the Lord Yahweh's word.'
So, whether they listen or not this set of rebels will know there is a prophet among them.
Second Reading: 2 Cor 12: 7 - 10
However, I better give up lest somebody think more of me than what is seen in me or heard from me. Lest I become proud after so many and extraordinary revelations, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a true messenger of Satan, to slap me in the face. Three times I prayed to the Lord that it leave me, but he answered, "My grace is enough for you' my great strength is revealed in weakness."
Gladly, then, will I boast of my weakness that the strength of Christ may be mine. So I rejoice when I suffer infirmities, humiliations, want, persecutions: all for Christ! For when I am weak, then I am strong.
A homecoming is generally expected to be a happy one. Such was not the case with Jesus and his town-mates. His kababayans were not as receptive of him as many others, despite his reputation as a teacher and miracle-worker. It must have been frustrating and very disappointing for Jesus to have town-mates with minds closed to him and thus not ready to welcome and receive him. His own town-mates could not believe how Jesus could have gone so far from their expectations: "How did this come to him? What kind of wisdom has been given to him that he also performs such miracles? Who is he but the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joset and Judas and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here among us?" "So they took offense at him."
The experience of Jesus is not uncommon even today. We can cite the example of singer Charice Pempengco, now recognized worldwide. In her own country she was not given much attention and recognition. She needed Oprah and David Foster, international luminaries in the entertainment world, to see her great potential. As in other talents, people other than their own, noticed them first. Such is the mystery and irony of human life.
Similar irony or paradox is seen in the second reading today where Paul boasts and prides himself in his own weaknesses, "Gladly, then, will I boast of my weakness that the strength of Christ may be mine. So I rejoice when I suffer infirmities, humiliations, want, persecutions: all for Christ! For when I am weak, then I am strong."
A profound insight difficult for us to understand. Only the presence and the inspiration of the Spirit of Jesus will enable us to see it.
Who of us would readily accept insults, hardships and difficulties? We would be considered fools and out of this world. But we do wish to accept such difficult and negative experiences not from a masochistic desire for such but because they make us one with the Lord.
As always Jesus shows us the true way. Death by crucifixion was an insulting and ignominious punishment. But by Jesus' death on the cross, crucifixion has become a symbol for obedience and unconditional love: obedience to his heavenly and love for us. Hopefully when we wear a cross we do so not for show or as a decoration but as a profession of faith in our Lord.
Many things in our lives are beyond our control. We see these happenings from different perspectives. Is the glass half full? Or half empty? For example, the unwanted pregnancy of an unmarried daughter is truly a problem; but it can also be an opportunity for her family to show support and unconditional love. The child to be born is also a welcome addition to the family and an instance of God's fidelity to the human race.
We continue to be amazed at the events in our lives. But let us not be utterly discouraged and frustrated because our faith tells us that in God's good time things will turn out well. We do believe that God is always in control. We may be sad and upset but we always hope for the best.
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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