February 4, 2015

Gospel MK 6:1-6
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, “Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?”
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house.”
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Reflection:
Because Jesus had grown up in a humble, village, home the people in the synagogue of his “native place” were astonished that Jesus was considered a Rabbi. “Where did this man get all this?” they asked.
Whispering among themselves, they wondered how he could possibly have such wisdom.
“In ridicule, they exclaimed, ‘Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary?’ And, they took offense at him.”
In this gospel passage, we see the truth of the old saying that is rooted in snobbery, “Familiarity breeds contempt.”
Because Jesus did not come from a background of privilege and wealth but was instead from the working class, they could not imagine that God would actually work through him.
Consequently, because of their inflated sense of self-worth, they could not see that the Son of God was present among them.
“There are none so blind as those who will not see.”
However, before I become smug and self-congratulatory about what I consider to be my own sense of open mindedness toward others, I should remember that personal growth comes from honest “self examination.”
Perhaps I would be better served to reflect upon whether I have ever dismissed someone because of their social status.