JULY 4. Ord Time B. Wk 14. Sun. Mk.6. 1-16
Jesus went to his home town and his disciples accompanied him. With the coming of the sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, ‘Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him? This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?’ And they would not accept him. And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house’; and he could work no miracle there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Wisdom is something, that when we hear it, we know it for what it is; - the Truth; - and in today’s Gospel we find Jesus preaching Wisdom and Truth; - and those in the synagogue were able to recognise it immediately.
And they did this, even though they could not understand how an ordinary person, from within their midst, could possess it; - nor did they want to believe it; - due to the implications it would have on their current way of life; - in that it demanded change!
And this reading illustrates what people so often do when they hear wisdom they do not want to accept, or believe, or put it into practice; - they reject it; - even though they recognise its Wisdom, and they acknowledge it represents Truth!
This is why so many people reject Christ’s teachings even today, and refuse to practice the Faith it requires! It is not that they do not understand the logic and wisdom of the Christian teachings, but rather, they do not want to amend their lives in line with the demands the Faith makes of us!
We are told the listeners today were “astonished” Christ was able to preach such Wisdom; - but we are also told how they responded to it; - in that “they would not believe” with Jesus being “amazed” at their lack of Faith; - given they recognised the Wisdom of what he was teaching them!
We are also told it was not just the Wisdom of Christ’s teachings they had to reject, but the fact they had also witnessed his miracles; - which explains why Jesus could not understand their hard hearts; - they had acknowledged the wisdom of what he was preaching; - and they had observed him performing miracles; - but still they would not believe?
Given that; - one wonders what more Jesus could have done in order to have them accept his teachings? This is the difficulty the Church faces in spreading the Christian Faith; - people are so reluctant to amend their ways when it involves changing the way of life they have settled into; - even when they recognise the truth contained within the Faith.
And this is not just an issue for unbelievers! It applies equally to those who profess to be Christians; - as our Faith is constantly calling on us to make further amendments to our way of life; - but we are very reluctant to do so; - for exactly the same reason as unbelievers.
We do not want to change our current lifestyle; - or move out of our existing “comfort zones!
Gospel Acclamation cf Luke 4:18
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me;
he sent me to bring Good News to the poor.