31st of January (English)

Publié le 31 Janvier 2018

Gospel text

(Mc 6,1-6): 

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.

 

The Application

 

Man is given the intelligence to see the invisible truths through the visible realities. If he refuses to search the truth, and remains content only with what is palpable and tangible, then he will be forced to believe that all that he sees and hears are the truth. Contrary to these thought, the human experience will assure us that all that we see and hear, though may be a reality actual, they are not necessarily truth. Very often the truth is hidden in these visible realities.

Jesus is inviting us to see beyond visible realities and apply generously the Faith with the use of intelligence. People who surrounded Him, then time, refused apply this Faith (God with us), though the miracles and the Words of Jesus were tangible realities to be observed and discovered.

The joy comes from knowing what we have, multiplying what God has given to us and the sadness comes, (very often) discovering what we don’t have (blaming God or our nature for not having such talents or the opportunities.) Faith will help us to find the reason to hope, with certitude of divine mercy.

While celebrating the feast of John Bosco, I invite you all to pray for my father, who is paralysed since more than one year.  

 

Daily Quote from the early church fathers

 

Distinguishing God's power and our faith, by Origen of Alexandria (185-254 AD)

 

"And perhaps, as in the case of metallic substances there exists in some a natural attraction toward some other thing, as in the magnet for iron, and in naphtha for fire, so there is an attraction in such faith toward the divine power according to what Jesus said: 'If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, 'Move to another place,' and it shall be moved' (Matthew 17:20). Matthew and Mark wished to present the all-surpassing value of that divine power as a power that works even in those who do not believe. But they did not deny that grace works even more powerfully among those who have faith. So it seems to me that they accurately said not that the Lord did not do any mighty works because of their unbelief, but that he did not do many there (Mark 6:5). Mark does not flatly say that he could do no mighty work there at all, and stop at that point, but added, 'except that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk and healed them' (Mark 6:5). Thus the power in him overcame even their unbelief." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 10.19)

 

 

«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 
(Girona, Spain)

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.

 

Rédigé par JOHNBOSCO

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