7th JULY 2024

Jesus' return to Nazareth – St. Catherine Of Siena Parish



Ez 2: 2-5                     Ps 123: 1-4                  2 Cor 12: 7-10                        Mk 6: 1-6



We have all heard of prophets and prophecies, but who is a prophet? The first reading describes the call of Ezekiel. Most prophets were men, however a few women prophets also find mention in the Bible. The prophet is first of all a person called by God; a prophet is a ‘son of man’. The Jewish expression means simply ‘a man’, a weak person, a common mortal. He is not an angel, he is not a person endowed with special and mysterious faculties.

This person called by God has a mission to accomplish. He is not asked to work miracles, to foretell the future, or to do strange things. God expects him to do just one thing, to broadcast God’s word. God has no mouth to speak to the people; He uses the mouth of one of them, His chosen messenger to speak in His name. The prophet normally introduces his message by saying: “Thus says the Lord”. What he says is not his, but God’s word.

Every baptized person has a prophetic vocation and mission. All are called to announce to their brothers and sisters the word of God. They must announce the gospel faithfully by word and example. In order to do this one must first listen carefully and devoutly to the word of God and let it penetrate the innermost recesses of one’s heart, then proclaim it courageously without changing it, even if the listeners are disturbed or uneasy.

In the second reading, Saint Paul faces many persecutions, adversities and troubles in his life. In this passage, we hear him speak about a special difficulty that causes him humiliation and suffering. It is something very painful like ‘a thorn in the flesh’. What was it? An illness? Some scholars think otherwise. This thorn in the flesh could have been quite a different thing. It may refer to the hostility of a number of his own Jewish people and opposition to his preaching.

But God does not remove it, He does not take it away miraculously, He only gives him the strength to face them and overcome them. He wants His power to be manifested through the weakness of the instrument. Even Paul had to overcome so much opposition. Why should we expect better or more privileged treatment?

In the Gospel, the people of Nazareth were amazed at Jesus and His teaching. Yet despite His wisdom and the miraculous deeds He worked, which they could clearly see, they did not believe in Him and took offence at Him. Jesus could do no mighty works in Nazareth and He marveled because of their unbelief. The Greek word used in this passage for unbelief is Apistian. It is the opposite of Pistis which means faith. Faith involves our relationship with God, the way we speak to Him and listen to Him. When he heard the promises of God, Abraham believed in the words of the Lord and God reckoned it to him as righteousness because Abraham put his faith in the words of God. And because he believed, he experienced God’s great works in his life. Faith calls for obedience to God. If we obey Him out of love, God can work wonders in our lives too.

Jesus told his disciples if you love me you will keep my commandments. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. Obedience, trust, and hope are essential parts of faith. When confronted by Jesus’ words and deeds the people of Nazareth did not believe in Him, because the people there would not submit to Christ and obey him, because they had no trust and hope in him. Jesus could not work among them. They had known Him all His life and they knew His family. The people of Nazareth were so confident in their knowledge of Him that they refused to understand with their hearts and to accept Him as the long awaited Messiah.

Love never intrudes; love never forces entry into a soul. God is all powerful love and He cannot act in an unloving way. While God’s love is offered to us unconditionally, we do not receive it unconditionally. Lord Jesus increase our faith. Help us to recognize You and accept You as our Saviour and Lord.


Response: Our eyes are on the Lord our God, till he show us his mercy.

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