Homily for Sunday, 8 July 2012
14th Sunday: Ezek 2:2-5. 2 Cor 12:7-10. Mk 6:1-6.
The Gospel this weekend is of the rejection of Jesus by his own towns-folk at Nazareth. The first reading is of Ezekiel saying “the Spirit is on me” (similar to Jesus’ quote of Isaiah in the synagogue in Lk 4). The second is of Paul writing that he’s content with weaknesses.
It says here (Gospel of Mark) that Jesus simply 'began to teach', although in the Gospel of Luke, it says that he criticises the people and they try to throw him off a cliff! (Lk 4:16-30). The first reading is of the call of Ezekiel to preach to his people and that also involves criticising. In other words, it's a riskey business! But if it's what God wants to say, then it's for good reason! I like the verb 'aportar' in Spanish which means 'to give a helpful correction'. That's different to a cold outright 'criticism' which would be just like an insult. But what moves Christ is love.
A good doctor has to tell the truth and Jesus is a very good one! Jesus begins reading chapter 42 of Isaiah saying "the Spirit is upon me", and that chapter goes on to say what for: to heal the sick and free prisoners etc.. Jesus certainly went about putting that into practice. He escaped being thrown over the cliff, but ended up being crucified! He still goes through that. Of course, I don't mean that he 'ends up' crucified, but rather that he goes through it on his way to Resurrection. He wants to be resurrected in our hearts now. And of course he goes through all the trouble voluntarily, because he wants to show us that even if problems come our way as we allow the Spirit to move us in loving, it's well worth it. The Gospel doesn't end today saying that Jesus 'washed his hands' and gave up but that he moved on to other villages and kept preaching. He ended up having Pilate 'wash his hands' as Jesus got condemned. Fortunately, he has arrived at our 'village' today. Will we appreciate what he wants to say? Of course, that appreciation begins with listening and reading and giving time to a little contemplating. Think of what Jesus might like to say in your own personal 'synagogue' today! And thank him for the way he keeps trying to guide mankind, even if it means 'sticking his neck out' and getting nailed to a cross and still getting ignored by many!
I like the way Paul writes ‘it’s when I’m weak that I’m strong’. If you’re ill then you can do less for yourself and you have to ask for help and that needs humility and I think that that humility makes you stronger. Christ shows us that… carrying a cross and then rising from the dead. My MS cross is very light but I’ll try to take that train of Christ!
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