Gospel – 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.

Reflection on the Gospel

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

The evangelist Mark narrates that Jesus’ listeners moved from astonishment at his words and deeds to taking offense at him. After all, they had grown up with Jesus and knew his mother and other relatives. The evangelist also tells us that his listeners’ lack of faith resulted in Jesus “not being able to perform any mighty deed” in his native place other than to cure a few sick people. At the end of the passage, the evangelist mirrors the positive reaction expressed at the beginning of the passage (amazement) with a negative reaction: Jesus is “amazed” at their lack of faith.

What aspects of this Gospel resonate with you? Are you astonished at the incredible words and deeds of Jesus? Are you offended by who Christ claims to be or by the moral demands he makes of those who choose to follow him, especially those demands that are at odds with the dominant culture? Does your lack of faith prevent Christ from being able to do incredible things for you and your community?

Saint John Baptist de La Salle wrote that “the spirit of this Institute is, first, a spirit of faith, which ought to induce those who compose it not to look upon any thing but with the eyes of faith, not to do anything but in view of God, and to attribute everything to God.” (Collection of Various Short Treatises) May we nourish God’s gift of faith by today making a firm resolution to do something concrete, perhaps: reading Holy Scripture, performing a corporal or spiritual work of mercy, or increasing our fervent reception of the sacraments.

Brother Peter Killeen, FSC
Universidad La Salle

Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.