14th Sunday Ordinary Time

It has often been said that, “an expert is someone with an opinion who does not live or work with you”.

This saying means that we have a tendency to believe people from the outside and difficulty believing people close to us. There is an inherent irony here. One would think that we would trust more the ones we know. If we know someone well, then we should therefore have that much more trust in that person. However, many times we think we know someone completely – and in that prideful claim of knowing the other – we limit that person‘s ability. Very often we like to define another person in our own mind. We think we know them and what they are capable of doing or not doing. The tragedy of this is that we could perhaps prevent someone from real growth and reaching full potential

In today’s Gospel, Jesus returns to His native place. He returns to His home town. He begins to preach about God and the kingdom of God. His neighbors and relatives do not accept this. As a footnote, we should not be bothered by today’s Gospel saying that Jesus has brothers and sisters. This was a loose term the ancient Jews used for close relatives. Typically this term was applied to cousins. We do this even today when a close family friend is referred to as an “uncle” even though not a true blood relative. The close friends and relatives of Jesus thought they knew who He was. They had boxed Him in – in their own mind. They had defined Him as a carpenter. To their are thinking – that’s who Jesus was. They thought they knew His identity completely. It was ridiculous to them to think otherwise. Jesus as the Son of God or the Messiah was not possible in their minds. We should take a special note the effect this had on Jesus. We are told that they took offense at Him and He was downcast

Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith. The last three Sundays we have heard Jesus say that we need to have faith. We need to say “yes” to God. In today’s Gospel, the people are saying “no” to God. They are saying “no” to God’s plan. They are saying “no” to Jesus as the Messiah

Let us receive the words of today’s Gospel and take note of our own attitude towards others. Let us be careful in thinking we know someone else completely. Instead – let us allow ourselves to be surprised by the gifts that can come forth from even those we think we know best. Let us do everything we can to encourage the growth and talent and giftedness of everyone in our life (including ourselves). Let’s pray to have God set our minds, our feet, and our way. May the Spirit of God keep our minds and hearts open to God‘s plan – in surprising and amazing ways. Let us never limit the goodness and giftedness of another. Let us be the voice of “You can do it.” and “I believe in you”

May we always be a source of encouragement for others.

Let’s live each day – with faith in God and faith in others.

First Reading
Ez 2:2-5

They are a rebellious house but shall know that a prophet has been among them.

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel

As the LORD spoke to me, the spirit entered into me
   and set me on my feet,
   and I heard the one who was speaking say to me:
   Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites,
   rebels who have rebelled against me;
   they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day.
Hard of face and obstinate of heart
   are they to whom I am sending you.
But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD God!
And whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house—
   they shall know that a prophet has been among them.


Responsorial Psalm
Ps 123:1-2, 2, 3-4

R. :

R. (2cd) Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

To you I lift up my eyes
   who are enthroned in heaven—
as the eyes of servants
   are on the hands of their masters.

R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

As the eyes of a maid
   are on the hands of her mistress,
so are our eyes on the LORD, our God,
   till he have pity on us.

R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

Have pity on us, O LORD, have pity on us,
   for we are more than sated with contempt;
our souls are more than sated
   with the mockery of the arrogant,
   with the contempt of the proud.

R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.


Second Reading
2 Cor 12:7-10

I will boast in my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters:
   That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
   because of the abundance of the revelations,
   a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
   to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
   but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
   for power is made perfect in weakness.”
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
   in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
   hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
   for the sake of Christ;
   for when I am weak, then I am strong.


Acclamation before the Gospel
cf. Lk 4:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me
for he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel
Mk 6:1-6

A prophet is not without honor except in his native place.

✠ A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place,
   accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
   and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, “Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
   and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?”
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
   “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
   and among his own kin and in his own house.”
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
   apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.At the end of the Gospel, the Deacon, or the Priest, acclaims:

The Gospel of the Lord.

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