Faith Daily | 30 July 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p565
O God, the protector of all that trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy,
that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may so pass through things temporal
that we finally lose not the things eternal.
Grant this, O heavenly Father,
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 13: 54-58
54 He came to his home town and began to teach the people* in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? 55Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?’ 57And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour except in their own country and in their own house.’ 58And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Angela Back
When Jesus arrived in his home town of Nazareth, his preaching and healing ministry had already gathered momentum, his fame preceded him. Now doubt the synagogue was crowded that day he stood before them. They were amazed, yes, but increasingly sceptical: “Where did all this come from?” To them he was just the carpenter’s son. They thought they knew him well. The locals were sceptical, embarrassed, putting him in his place. Also, this was radical talk, not the kind of kingdom they wanted to hear about. As Tom Wright comments, “Preaching is something dangerously public that emerges from something intensely private.” Just as family members can squirm when one of them stands up to speak in public, did they feel that Jesus was dangerously overstepping the mark?
So there was lack of faith in Nazareth, and Jesus “did not do many miracles there”. This puzzled me at first. Was Jesus like so many of us, as young people setting out in life, constrained by expectations and necessities, once obediently accepted but now outgrown. Did he need to see wonder and openness on people’s faces to be able to step towards them with confidence? Jesus here was vulnerable to the negativity of others.
Jesus did not step into his role without some setbacks. This time in his home town must have been painful, and then prayerfully and humbly considered when alone. He also had to grew into his role, considering, testing, and learning. I find this insight reassuring. To keep moving on with Jesus I have to keep close company with him, and not expect to do it all at once. I must learn when my negativity is not helpful.
FINAL PRAYER: Celtic Blessings
May God give us light to guide us
courage to support us
and love to unite us
now and evermore. Amen.