Sunday Reflections

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 7, 2024

Reflection by:

Reflection by:

Wanda Cakebread, Apostle of the Resurrection

Sometimes we are surprised when we become better acquainted with someone as to how they are different then what we expected. By observing their actions and their words, we may have created a preconceived idea of who they are. Only in developing a closer relationship can we fully meet the real person.

In the gospel, Mark 6:1-16, we see Jesus and the apostles return to his hometown of Nazareth. One would expect that in the midst of his family and friends, Jesus would be welcomed and appreciated. However, people who knew Jesus for a long time began to question’ who is this Jesus?

They knew him as a member of a humble local family and were skeptical of some of his teaching in the synagogue. They had expectations and preconceived ideas of Jesus. Even some of his own family members were skeptical of this new Jesus who has returned to them. Their familiarity prevented them from being fully open to Jesus’ message. Jesus is surprised and hurt by this reception. While his humanity is evident, his divinity is not at that time and place. Jesus was unable to share his divinity with nonbelievers.

Aware of this rejection, Jesus realized that he would not be able to perform his miracles in the midst of such unbelief. Sadly, he and the apostles moved on to other communities where his message and his healings were well received. In the present, we too, may take Jesus for granted and assume that we know everything about him and his teaching. This complacency might cause us to possibly reject or decline any new perspectives or insights of Jesus’ message. We then forfeit the opportunity to grow and experience Jesus more fully. Sometimes we reject the good news because it challenges us to change or examine our faith and life. Since it may make us uncomfortable, we may choose to dismiss that lesson and thereby forfeit what amazing blessings Jesus is able to provide in our life.

In order for God to work wonders in our life we need to have faith and trust in the fullness of God’s power. God gives us grace to be able to encounter Jesus more fully if we believe.

Do we limit God‘s place and power in our lives by our unwillingness to be fully in relationship with God? Do we stifle others by our preconceived impression of them and thereby stunt their potential and growth? The rejection of Jesus in Nazareth is the foreshadowing of the rejection that Jesus will experience in Jerusalem, ending in his crucifixion and resurrection.

We are reminded that in sharing God‘s Word, we may face rejection from people who are closest to us. While we may not be able to get through to them, we are not to be discouraged from continuing our apostleship. Our openness to continued growth with Risen Jesus requires our faith and trust in God’s grace, that it will guide and strengthen us when struggling with such rejection.

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