Wednesday of 4th Week, even numbered year Mercredi de la 4e semaine paire

“Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon?”
Friday 18 December 2015

2 Sa.24 2,9-16a 17 Ps.31 Mk.6,1-6

Wednesday of 4th Week, even numbered year

“Leaving the district, he went to his home town and his disciples accompanied him.When the Sabbath came, he began teaching in the synagogue, and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, ’Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him and these miracles that are worked through him?’”

We learn from the Gospel that is it is never easy to announce Jesus, the One who comes to save us; we see how those who were the closest to him, at his side, were unable to pierce his deepest secret. Despite living face to face, side by side with Jesus, they didn’t know what Jesus’ secret was in the Holy Spirit. They knew him in the flesh but not otherwise.

Where did he get that from? What is this Wisdom he has? they would say. Isn’t it the carpenter, Joseph’s son?

Jesus was a scandal for them.

This Word is a precious teaching for our spiritual life. How to look at Jesus who comes back to Nazareth after having begun his mission? For sure, he is Mary’s son, and his brothers and sisters, that is, distant cousins are there! But Jesus won’t be welcomed, they see him as before, as if nothing could have changed. Here, ’Jesus couldn’t accomplish any miracle’. God is unable to act in us if the Holy Spirit doesn’t dwell within us, if we are not moved by Him.

“Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters too are they not here with us? and they would not accept him. And Jesus said to them, ’A prophet is despised only in his own country among his own relations and in his own house’; and he could work no miracle there, except that he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them.”

" A prophet is despised only in his own country among his own relations and in his own house’-this seems to give the reason for Jesus’ unwelcome, even though he is amazed at their reaction.

The consequences are relatively important for Jesus’ Mission. The lack of faith makes Jesus’ miraculous power unable to operate. The Gospel tells us ’He couldn’t work any miracle there.’ One day he will end up being thrown out of his own village, then it will be even worse, it will be the Cross for him.

Now and again Jesus will gather success in his region, yet these will always have a ambiguous feel to them.He has a way of captivating people by his Word-no one had ever spoken as he had. He accomplishes miracles, and yet one day he will have to run away from the crowd who wishes to crown him a king on earth, and make of him a political Messiah.

Jesus reproaches the people for looking out for miracles, and exterior signs without having faith or trying to understand what these outer signs might mean on a spiritual level.

There will be an increasing misunderstanding between Jesus and the crowd-and this will go on right up until the Passion occurs.

We often look to the past, which is unchanged, and yet everything around us has changed. We need to have a new way of seeing things!

“Most of them were astonished when they heard him.”

We need to grow in the Holy Spirit who makes all things new. If I have closed my doors and am set in my ways, nothing can move, death will set in. Sometimes we hear things like ’I’ve been living with this person for fifteen years, nothing can change!’

This Word is important so our eyes can be opened! We need to evolve in fraternal life as in the construction of the Kingdom, we need a new way of seeing things.

“And Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith. He made a tour round the villages, teaching.”

As Jesus becomes more popular in the crowd, the more he seems to touch success, the more the ambiguity of the situation becomes unbearable. All those who are in a link of authority with him get together to do away with him. Those who are close to him want to save the family honour by proclaiming he is mad, and priests and scribes will manage to have him condemned by the Romans for political reasons. But it is through contempt that God brings about his work of salvation and that all the prophesies of Scripture will be accomplished in the death of the expulsed prophet.

It never has been easy to recognise Jesus, the compromises with the world, socio political recuperations and the terrible earthly ambiguities in each one of us deform Jesus’ face. This is where the contempt lies, as soon as we are detached from a way of seeing things in faith. Faith in the One whom no speeches can get rid of.

Only when we see things in Faith is reality revealed, and this is in an act of confidence and love. When these times of grace come, when faith enlightens us about the person of Jesus, we must realise that it is not blood and flesh that have us understand Jesus, but a gift of the Holy Spirit come from the Father, communicating His Light to us. God has us progress in our life in order to hasten the coming of the Kingdom. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we are in constant progression, the Holy Spirit acts in our midst and He acts through us.

We ask for the grace to allow ourselves to be renewed by the Word of God so as to adjust ourselves to God and to others.