FOURTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Green) Cycle B/Year I (July 8, 20018) Ez 2:2-5/2 Cor 12:7-10/Mk 6:1-6
Jesus Christ, after preaching from other places, visits His hometown Nazareth not simply to take a rest but rather to also proclaim the good news of salvation to His town’s mates. In fact, He brings with Him His group of disciples, a common custom of any master or rabbi living during His time. After doing all the preaching and the miracles in front of His own people, the people begin to recognize Him and upon recognition of Jesus as a carpenter and as the son of Mary, they criticize Him and do not accept Him. At this, Jesus tells them: “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house” (Mk 6:4).
The people’s rejection of Jesus is due to the fact that He has surpassed them in many ways. They recognize Him to be a carpenter and the son of the simple and poor woman called Mary. In other words, Christ is only an ordinary working man and is therefore treated as a simple man who is not worthy to be honored or respected. That is how they know Jesus Christ and that is how they also treat Him. They do not know who Jesus Christ really is. They do not know that Jesus is not simply human by nature but also divine; they do not know the fact that Jesus is the God-made-man. If they know Jesus to be such, they will certainly do all for Him. They have judged Jesus basing from what is external and from His origin and so they commit an error. The erroneous judgment they have on Jesus makes them pay the high price of not recognizing the true Messiah in Jesus and of not benefitting from the miracles and teachings of our Lord.
After 2,000 years have passed, Jesus Christ still lives in us and with us. The problem is that, like Christ’s town’s mates, many times we do not recognize Jesus. We only recognize Him inside the Church in His crucifix and especially in the Sacred Host, when we pray and when we participate in other liturgical activities of the parish. Yet, aside from those occasions, we do not anymore recognize Him, particularly in our daily life. The pride, the selfishness, the greed and all our sins darken our minds to recognize Him and harden our hearts to accept Him. Because of this, we as if judge Jesus Christ and limit His influence in our lives only to our spiritual activities and spiritual lives. Yet Christ is God and as God He should take over not only our spiritual lives but all aspects of our lives. To consider Him as our Lord and Savior is to give ourselves totally to Jesus. It is only when we let Jesus influence all our whole lives and when we entrust all ourselves to Him can we really become His genuine followers, that is, truly Christians.
Just as Jesus Christ has come to His hometown to bring salvation to His own people, so He comes to us in many ways every day of our lives to bring us closer to Him and bring us salvation. The problem is that we do not recognize His presence in us just as how the town’s mates of Jesus have not recognized Him as who He really is. We do not recognize Him because we have a lot of personal biases and issues in life. Besides, we do not believe that we presently need a savior and so we do not personally accept Him as our Savior. We do not feel that we need Him especially during the time when we do not encounter any big problem in our lives. The town’s mates of Jesus do not accept Him as Savior because they do not believe in Him as savior. Our attitude towards Jesus will certainly depend on the knowledge we have about Him and also on the willingness to accept Him as who He is.
Jesus Christ is not simply a prophet or a teacher. He is God! We can never demand on Him while He has all the rights and reasons to demand on us. If we are to become true followers of Christ, genuine Christians, we must accept this fact that He is our Lord and Savior and then live up to such faith. We must be willing to change according to our relationship with Him. We have to know and accept that we are simply creatures and servants of our Lord and thus must be willing to sacrifice the things that we love that are not according to the teachings of Christ. We must be willing to be converted into new persons. Unlike the town’s mates of Jesus who do not want to change, we must be ready to constantly renew ourselves by patterning all our actions to the Will of God and the teachings of Christ.