14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ezekiel 2:2-5      2 Corinthians 12:7-10      Mark 6:1-6

Jesus Rejected in His Hometown of Nazareth MediumThe town of Nazareth was a very ordinary town, so ordinary that it is not even mentioned in the Old Testament, where towns and mountains and rivers are held in such great respect and with much importance. When Nathaniel heard that Jesus was from Nazareth he, too, said “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Of course, we know now that Nazareth holds a very important place in the history of our Christian Faith. It was there that Mary made her great act of Faith which brought about our Redeemer.

The Gospels of the last few Sundays have been very much about Faith; different aspects and expressions of Faith. We read about the dormant Faith of the disciples which was roused only because of the storm at sea– Faith in time of crisis! Then we read of the very public act of Faith of the Jewish official whose daughter was ill – Faith in a time of need! Most of us can identify with the very private act of Faith of the woman who had been suffering for such a long time and had tried many other ways to be cured.

Today’s Gospel reading takes us back to Nazareth. Jesus teaches the same message there and they had heard of the miracles that he had done. But ‘they would not accept Him!”  They expected that these things happen in bigger towns, to different people, not here in ordinary Nazareth!

It’s not difficult to imagine the sentiments and feelings of the natives of Nazareth. They were at first curious about Jesus, then they were sceptical, they became jealous and eventually their pride took over – he’s no better than the rest of us, the carpenter, the son of one of our own, we know all his family.

It is true that Faith is sometimes stirred up because of wondrous signs and events.  But more often the Lord acts in quiet and unobtrusive ways.  Think of Elijah seeking the Lord’s word in the storms and strong winds and eventually he hears God speaking in the gentle, quiet breeze. (1Kings 19:10-13).  In our first reading to day Ezekiel is sent because he is one of them – ‘they shall know that there is a prophet among themselves’. It’s another way of saying that the Lord speaks and works in the ordinary things of our lives.

Paul’s message today is similar: “it is when I am weak that I am strong”. The Lord works in and through us when we don’t put the obstacles of our own talents, strengths and self-will in the way.  Paul knew that the power of Christ stayed over him because of his own personal weaknesses.

The Nazareth of today’s gospel is the ordinary place where we live; the signs and wonders are the ordinary - and extraordinary -happenings of the day; the prophets are among us; and

‘my grace is enough for you and my power is made perfect in weakness’