for Sunday, July 8, 2012
In his native place, the people took offense at Jesus. This is not
surprising. Someone who was well known, perhaps even as a very good
person, simply cannot come to his own area and claim to be God or to have
supernatural powers. We live this same way today, far too often. We don't
hear the truth from people who are close to us. We don't want to hear it
and they don't want to say it. We are much more comfortable in
relationships that stay in normal limits.
Jesus is always breaking out of the normal limits. He tells us to forgive
our enemies. We are so used to that now that we can hear it without
flinching - and not do it. He tells us that if someone strikes us, we are to
offer the other cheek. Again we are able to hear that advice, know it is
from Jesus - and never follow it.
The first reading today is from the Prophet Ezekiel. He was sent to tell
people the truth - and they did not want to hear it. None of us really likes
the truth when it tells us bad things about ourselves. It is really
difficult to accept the truth as a source of healing. Of course, if
someone is telling lies about us, that is a totally different thing.
We are children of our ancestors and so we should never be surprised that
we are rebellious, that we don't like the truth, that we follow God when it
is easy, that we don't want to suffer, etc. This is part of our human
God invites us to live in another way. We are invited to embrace the
truth, to learn to love our enemies, to find ways to serve the poor, etc.
It is an invitation - and He tells us that it will bring us incredible life.
We are not sure that we want to pay that price for incredible life. Even
The Second Letter to the Corinthians gives us an example in the Holy
Apostle Paul: I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships,
persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak,
then I am strong.
Of course, if we read right before this, we find Paul struggling to accept
his own weaknesses. There is no way to follow the Lord without coming to
the truth. There is no way to accept the truth about ourselves without
suffering. There is only one way to follow Jesus. That way is the way of
Jesus, Lord, teach us your way.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Ezekiel 2.3-5
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 12.7-10
Gospel: Mark 6.1-6
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: