by Rev. Fr. George Koshy
Gospel: Mark 6:1-16
A Carpenter's Wisdom and His Rejection by Family and Neighbors
Mark 6: 4 Jesus said to them, 'A Prophet never lacks honor in his home town, among his relations and his own family.' 5 And he was unable to do any miracle there, except that he put his hands on a few sick people and healed them; 6 and he was astonished at their want of faith.'
Jesus blessed by his own labor the unpretentious vocation of
carpentry. [Ephrem the Syrian]
As a youth he did not separate himself from his Synagogue tradition. [Origen]
At Nazareth Jesus lived an active, common life, identifying with the poor, obedient within the economic order as an ordinary workman [Justin Martyr] Yet as the Eternal Son, he came down to our broken humanity as if we were already his own [Peter Chrysologus]
The Nazareth Congregation in which Jesus was raised welcomed him on this Sabbath. He was invited to read from the Scriptures and speak. The Rabbi was very good to him, but not the parishioners.
His words were amazing. "Jesus' teaching, wisdom, and miracles do not overcome the disbelief of those in His hometown. They are offended because they can do none of His works, and they are unwilling to accept a far greater role and dignity for Him. Jealousy affects faith. Everyone could have been blessed and restored because the Savior was there. But in the absence of faith, Jesus did not release His divine power which is always his." [Orthodox Study Bible]
This perhaps is our story too, the story of our Sunday gatherings. We see Jesus in the Sacraments, we hear Him speak through the Gospel and the preaching of the Gospel. We receive Him through the blessed bread and the shared cup. Yet He cannot work the miracle in our lives, the miracle of changing us to seek and do His will.
Let us ask ourselves, 'Do we truly put our trust in Him so that He may release His power to heal us and save us from our jealousies and back-biting and the continuous fight in and out of our Churches?
Only one thing I want to mention in this context that may help us to give Jesus a chance to help and heal us. He was a carpenter. He did marvelous work with the wood that was willing to be shaped by him.
Can we for a moment put ourselves in the place of a wood in the presence of Jesus, the master builder. If we do he can make us into a beautiful piece of creation that will make all around us marvel and glorify God.
Sermons and Bible Commentaries for the 4th Sunday after the Shunoyo Feast
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