Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle B

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

jesus rejected in nazareth.jpg

 Mark 6.1-6

“And they would not accept him”

In his account of the Gospel, Mark has been telling of the gradually developing ministry of Jesus. He had been preaching with a style of authority that was new and had quickly attracted to himslef a growing group of followers. He had also manifested an unexplained power when he had driven out demons, calmed a storm, healed a woman who touched only the hem of his garment, and raised a young girl from the dead. All of this raised some serious questions: who is this man? where does all this power come from? what manner of man is he?

In today's reading Mark tells of Jesus’ return to his home hamlet of Nazareth, where he was to suffer cold rejection. Here is a striking example of the old adage “familiarity breeds contempt”. We have known this man since he was a lad; he’s the local carpenter; we have worked alongside him; we know his family and they are just ordinary folk like us. So where then did he get all this authority and power? isn't he just one of us? who does he think he is? why should we take any notice of him? They didn't want to hear what he had to say because he was too familiar to them, too ordinary.

In that lies a message for us. God speaks to us mainly through the ordinary times and events of life and through ordinary people just like us. What happened that day in Nazareth still happens every day. People can and do reject the truth because they do not like the one who speaks it. Or sometimes they can be so busy looking out for miracles that they fail to notice the presence of God in the ordinary gifts of everyday life. And so easily they fail to recognise the Messiah who is standing right next to them because he looks so very ordinary, so very much like someone they know.