by Deacon Matthew Thomas (Sujit)
Gospel Reading: St. Mark 6:1-6
Faith, just like human beings who possess it, is supposed to grow. When our faith stops growing, we also stop growing. The destiny of human beings is for us to grow to the statue of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). However our unbelief often prevents us from attaining this goal. We remain in a state of stunted growth.
The world’s oldest living organisms are found inside of salt deposits. In the January 2011 edition of GSA Today, the publication of the Geological Society of America a scientist has published his finding of a microbial community discovered in an ancient buried salt crystal. Salt crystals grow very quickly and imprison everything around it. This particular microbial community remained buried in a tiny bubble. Often we find ourselves individually and collectively in such a state – alive and buried but not growing.
The Gospel portion for this week narrates the work of Jesus in his hometown of Nazareth. According to St. Mark, Jesus was teaching inside the synagogue on Sabbath. Those who were gathered questioned among themselves about the character, teaching and work of Jesus. Jesus testifies that a prophet has no honor in his own country. According to St. Mark, “He could do no miracle there except that He laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief” (St. Mark 6:5-6).
The behavior of those from Jesus’ hometown is quite similar to our own. Our unbelief stands in the way of Christ acting. The primary cause of this unbelief is that we do not truly know Christ. When we look with human eyes we are only able to see human things. The neighbors of Jesus could not see past his human parentage and neglected the truth that standing in front of them is the Son of God. As baptized Christians the eyes of our soul have been opened. Moses Bar Kepha (+903) stated, “The Eucharistic offering and Myron bring profit to those who no longer look with the physical eye at what can be seen, that is to say the bread and the wine, but who using the eyes of the soul, apprehend and perceive God the Word united to the bread and wine and to the oil of Myron.”
When people approached Jesus of Nazareth with faith that he was the Christ, others marveled at the wonders Christ performed. When people approached Jesus of Nazareth with unbelieving heart about the person of Christ, Christ marveled at their unbelief.
Our faith grows when we trust that Jesus is the Christ. To have faith means to place our trust in the person of Jesus. The Holy Gospel readings of the past few weeks and of the next coming weeks are focused on the beginning of Christ’s public ministry and invite us to think about person of Jesus and the Kingdom of God inaugurated by Him. In this season following the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, may the Holy Spirit continue to shower us with blessings in order for our faith to grow.
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril
thoughts for Fourth Sunday after the feast of Denaha
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril
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