Today's Gospel: Mark 6:1-6
Today’s Gospel, like each of the Gospel accounts, is revolutionary when you really stop to think about it. Jesus returns to his hometown of Nazareth and is scorned by those who know him best - his friends, neighbors, and family - people who have worshipped at synagogue with him for his entire life. And how does this make Jesus feel? Scripture says, “So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there….He was amazed by their lack of faith.” Jesus must have been disappointed. How could he not be? While he did cure “a few sick people,” these verses make it clear that his power was hampered by the people’s lack of faith.
There are two important lessons for us in these six short verses today. First, Jesus was fully divine, but also fully human. So human, in fact, that he experienced the same emotions we do when those close to us fail to understand or embrace our relationship with God. Jesus was perplexed, saddened, and deflated. He quite literally was less able to do the work He wanted to do because the situation was not as He would want it to be. But He didn’t step in and show His power by forcing the people’s hearts and minds to be changed.
Which brings us to the second lesson: through Jesus, God the Father offers each of us an invitation to participate in miraculous works. How? Through faith. Our faith in Him is an integral part of God’s work. It moves in collaboration with His divine plans. How amazing is it that God wants us, His creations, to participate in the world’s continuation and healing, instead of just dictating by Himself how He would like it to be?
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Can you think of a time when someone’s faith positively influenced a dire situation?
Lord, it is hard to follow You when my friends and family don’t understand your love. Please strengthen my faith when my resolve grows weak, and make me a beacon of your light in the world.
Copyright 2017 Gretchen Matthews
Gretchen Matthews is a writer in Annapolis, Maryland. She was raised as a non-denominational Christian and joined the Catholic Church in 2007. She blogs about her faith and life with her husband, three outgoing kids, and two rescued dogs at www.gretchenmatthews.org.