Faith Daily | 3 February 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Epiphany Four
you have taught us
that all our doings without love are worth nothing:
send your Holy Spirit,
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues,
without which whoever lives is counted dead before you;
grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake.
Amen APBA p533
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 6: 1-6
He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. 2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary* and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. 4Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ 5And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Ian McCarthy
Have you ever experienced that confronting emotion of "rejection" throughout your life?
I certainly remember that I experienced this powerful emotion on a personal level at some of the most critical times of my working life. One example was not being selected for a key position within Queensland Corrective Services even though I was clearly well qualified and suitable for the advertised role. Undoubtedly, the feeling of rejection in this case was quite powerful but accepting the selection panel's decision was the most difficult part for me. As we all know life can throw a range of challenges and bitter disappointments at us but the key factor is how we actually respond in these particular situations.
Well, within this reading today from Mark Chapter 6:1-6 we also read that the excitement and optimism of Jesus' parables and also the authority demonstrated in the miracles have suddenly evaporated. Jesus had indeed been absolutely rejected in his home town of Nazareth. In fact, the Gospel accounts of Mark and Luke suggests that Jesus' rejection was well known within the early church.
Following this the twelve are sent out on a mission and Jesus would be hoping for their future ongoing success, but unfortunately this was not the eventual outcome for their ministry in their own experience.
Indeed, the twelve were commissioned to extend the ministry of Jesus himself and they were committed to preaching the message "that men should repent". It appears that a real urgency had presented itself during Jesus's preaching and ministry in Nazareth and as we read later on in Mark, the mission failed(seemingly!) and the kingdom did not eventuate.
In summary, the surprise and wonder by the people listening to Jesus's teaching and the miracles actually performed possibly did not reflect general approval by all assembled. Mainly because "they took offence at him".(v.3).
The opening line in Mark's reading where the Greek word translated "country" could also mean "home-town". Luke's parallel to this particular story (Luke 4:16-30) identifies "his own country" as the city of Nazareth.
On reflection, perhaps we need to be constantly aware of our own mission here on earth and listen carefully to the Gospel message proclaimed through the "still small voice" in our daily prayers and reflections.
FINAL PRAYER: Michael Quoist
If only we knew how to look at life as God sees it,
we should realise that nothing is secular in the world,
but that everything contributes to the building
of the kingdom of God.To have faith is not only to raise
One's eyes to God to contemplate him;
it is also to look at this world-but with Christ's eyes.
If we had allowed Christ to penetrate our whole being,
if we had purified ourselves, the world would no longer
be an obstacle. It would be a perpetual incentive
to work for the Father in order that, in Christ,
his kingdom might come on earth as it is in heaven.
We must pray to have sufficient faith to know how to look at life.