Gospel Reflection July 7 – Kim VanHuffel

Sunday, July 7

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 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 Joses 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.

Gospel Reflection:

Today’s gospel passage has to do with our faith. It connects the power of Jesus to the faith of the people. In the passages just preceding this gospel reading, we see Jesus healing the woman with the hemorrhage, and then healing Jairus’ daughter. To the woman with the hemorrhage, he says “daughter, your faith has healed you,” and to Jairus, when he hears that his daughter has died, “do not be afraid any longer, only believe.” Jesus then raises Jairus’ daughter from her “sleep.” Both of these healings are credited to having faith and believing.

Then he comes to his own hometown. The people here grew up with Jesus. They cannot see him clearly, without their former preconceived notions of him. They might be jealous. They take offense at him. They seem to gossip and question the legitimacy of his birth, saying “isn’t he the son of Mary,” without mentioning Joseph. They reject him.

And subsequently, Jesus was “not able to perform any mighty deed there,” apart from curing a few sick people (whom, it seems actually did have faith). Jesus was “amazed” at the lack of faith of those in his hometown.

What we are to take from this is that faith and love are both free — Jesus cannot and will not force us to choose him, to follow him. Likewise, we cannot force anyone else to have faith, or to love. We need to stay close to Jesus in prayer, but not make him so familiar (like those in his hometown) that we cannot still be amazed with him. It is a delicate balance. Jesus is human, and he understands our struggles. But, he is also God and can work amazing wonders in our lives. The key is to have a renewed faith every morning, and to trust in him.

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! Enjoy and stay safe.

Kim VanHuffel

Pastoral Associate