John 20:24-29 St. Thomas the Apostle “My Lord and my God”
July 3, 2021
July 6, 2021

Mark 6:1-6 Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters here with us? And they took offense at him

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ezekiel 2:2-5
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Mark 6:1-6

A. Text/Context
• Clarification first. It was mentioned in the gospel that Jesus has brothers and sisters
• In the culture of the Jews, the family structure is so extended. Sons and daughters are not merely confined to biological parents
• Parents also call their nieces and nephews as sons and daughters and so the children also call their cousins as brothers and sisters
• The brothers and sisters mentioned in the gospel are actually the cousins of Jesus
• Just to clarify matters in case you entertain the idea that Jesus is not the only son of God. Jesus is simply the one and only
• During this period of time, Jesus makes a homecoming to his native town in Nazareth
• It is a usual practice for the Jews to go to the temple on a Sabbath. If they are near Jerusalem, they go to the temple
• But if they are very far from the central temple in Jerusalem they go to a place known as the synagogue in order to listen to the words in the scripture
• And now and it was the turn of Jesus to read the scripture and do some teaching and the people listened to Jesus very intently
• And the people who heard Jesus talked were very much surprised of what they heard. They were astonished with the beautiful words coming out from his mouth
• They were so mystified at the wisdom that came from an old countryman in Nazareth whom they knew so well
• The people are asking, where did this man get all this? Is he not the carpenter the son of Mary? And so while they were impressed of Jesus they also doubted a lot because what can a son of a carpenter do?
• And so they took offense at Jesus because he is not supposed to be like that. Jesus is rejected in his very own place
• In fact, in the other gospels, they all wanted to kill Jesus by throwing him on a cliff

B. Human Situation
• The situation is a classic example of over familiarity, bias against people we know so well. That we can actually put people in a box and they ought to remain there
• When we are do biased against others anything that the person will say or do that is new we will never believe
• In other words if somebody is notorious of his reputation as dishonest in a community even if he does an honest job we will not believe
• I know his or her background, it is impossible that he will do good now after all the nasty things he did before
• We will not believe on them simply because we already have a bias. We already operate with our own mindset about the person
• This is really an irony. While we pray that notorious people will have a change of heart, that they be converted, but when they really change for good we will not believe them
• And what is the consequence of this? What happened in the gospel?
• Because the fellow Nazoreans of Jesus now abhor him, and look at Jesus with disdain, now rejected him, Jesus was not able to perform many great miracles in his own native place in Nazareth because the people have no faith in him because of the bias
• We can see how a bias can really stifle the atmosphere of change. If we are so biased against a person, the possibility of growth and harmony is already shut. It stifles the growth of others pushing them to remain static and without advancement
• But you see in the 1st reading in Ezekiel, in spite of the rebellion of the people, God still sends Ezekiel to be their prophet. God wants to let the people know that even if they have been disobedient God still sends a prophet to teach them
• God allows change, conversion of other people towards the better to remind us that there is room for change, that the grace of God can work even to the most notorious offender
• Jesus has lost the appetite to perform great miracles in his very own native place because the people have no faith
• But the fact is that he still cured a few of the sick people, it shows that Jesus did not abandon his own people. Nazareth could have seen better times if they were not so biased against Jesus

C. Challenge
• The gospel today is reminding us not to do so, instead we are exhorted today to give people a chance to renew themselves because a profound change can take effect if there is support from others
• If we fail to do so, then we fall on the category of the sin of omission, not in what we did but in what we have failed to do as what we have just prayed in the penitential rite
• If our neighbor is a thief, it doesn’t mean that he will live his entire life stealing
• Change, conversion is always possible and we can even hasten it by supporting the person
• So today we are challenged to exert good influence to others by our good counsel, our words of wisdom, and most of all, through our own good examples worthy to be emulated by others
• By the good work we do, those who live crooked lives will realize that it is also possible to live a life of dignity
• Let us not be influenced by the unpleasant things around us, rather let us make our selves silent examples for others to change for the better
• Lastly, the grace of God works even at the most impossible situation; so let us allow the grace of God to work on the weakness of others

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Mark 6 verse 1-6

Mark 6 verse 1-6

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