Jesus returned to his own country, and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath came, He began teaching in the synagogue, and most of those who heard him were astonished. They commented, «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 Joseph and Judas and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here among us?». So they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, «Prophets are despised only in their own country, among their relatives and in their own family». And he could work no miracles there, but only healed a few sick people by laying his hands on them. Jesus himself was astounded at their unbelief. Jesus then went around the villages teaching.
Many of us learn from very hard realities. These difficult moments of life, though in the beginning we may find it as unjust, often very painful, in later days, we realise that these were the moments from which we have grown and we rely upon today to stand right. These painful moments are meant to teach us to grow and if we fail to learn lessons from them, then these past events will remain for an eternity, multiplying in us our pains, causing tremendous suffering. Paul is asking us in the first reading, to traverse such moments with grace and hope, just like our parents punishing us in our childhood.
Sometime these insults are so painful that you don’t even dare to look at them. Today Jesus is called as son of Mary, a great insult to him and to His mother, an illegitimate son. Though the world of day may call her as blessed and a privilege given to her as the mother of God, but then world didn’t treat her with the basic charity which she duly merited. Today Jesus is not pained for Him, nor for His mother, rather for these people, because His very presence is a Good News to the world. How sad that they couldn’t profit from His presence!
He is asking us to imitate His generosity and continue to do the wonderful work that God has asked to do. These insults and calamities should never hinder us to do good, even to our enemies. It’s here we prove to the world that we are Christians and our faith does merit.
«How did this come to him? What kind of wisdom has been given to him that he also performs such miracles?»
Fr. Miquel MASATS i Roca
Today, the Gospel shows Jesus going to the Synagogue, in Nazareth, where He had grown up. The Sabbath is the day dedicated to our Lord when Jews get together to listen to God's Word. Every Sabbath, Jesus went to the synagogue to teach, not like the scribes and the Pharisees, but as one who had authority (cf. Mk 1:22).
Today, God also speaks to us through the Scriptures. At the synagogue, the Scriptures were read and, afterwards, the learned ones commented them and explained the sense of the message God wanted to transmit through them. The following thought is attributed to saint Augustine: «As we speak to God through prayer, God speaks to us through reading».
The fact that Jesus, the Son of God, is well known among his fellow citizens because of his work, offers us an unsuspected perspective for our ordinary life. Our professional activities are also a way for us to meet God and, therefore, a sanctified and sanctifying reality. Saint Josemaria Escrivà says: «Your human vocation is a part —and an important part— of your divine vocation. That is the reason why you must strive for holiness, giving a particular character to your human personality, a style to your life; contributing at the same time to the sanctification of others, your fellow men; sanctifying your work and your environment: the profession or job that fills your day, your home and family and the country where you were born and which you love».
The text of the Gospel ends with the words: «Jesus could work no miracles there (...). Jesus himself was astounded at their unbelief» (Mk 6:5-6). Today also our Lord demands more faith in Him to carry out things that overpower our human possibilities. Miracles show God's power and our need for daily dependence on God.