Jan 31 (Mk 6:1-6)

A distinguished actor had a large photograph of William Wordsworth prominently displayed in his dressing-room.

(William Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication ‘Lyrical Ballads’).

A friend, who came to see this actor and observing the picture remarked with some surprise…

“Hmmm… I see!

>> So you are an admirer of Wordsworth?”

“Wordsworth? Who’s that?” enquired back the actor.

“Why, that’s his picture,” was the answer, as the friend pointed towards the image “That’s William Wordsworth, the literary giant. This picture would surely have cost you a fortune!”

The actor looked at the photograph with a bemused gaze!

“Is that old guy, a famous poet?” he exclaimed in astonishment!

“Oh! Who bothers about these old guys! I just picked up that frame from my storehouse, to fill the empty space on my wall!!”

The picture that was hung on the wall failed to acquire its deserved status and recognition …

• due to the ignorance of the actor

• due to his contempt for and prejudice towards old guys

How often do we reject the precious and important people and aspects of life…

… due to our ignorance…. our contempt of things… and our prejudiced mindsets!

The Gospel of the Day is presentation of this “rejection” experience of the Lord in His hometown.

The Lord arrives in His hometown.

On the Sabbath, He taught in the synagogue.

The Gospel mentions a juxtaposition of feelings of the listeners…

First, there is a great expression of marvel and wonder:

“Where did this Man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to Him? What deeds of power are being by Him?” (Mk 6:2)

But this feeling quickly vanishes…

The feelings of wonder and amazement get distorted to feelings of contempt, condemnation and outright rejection:

“Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not His sisters here with us?” (Mk 6:2)

What was the cause of this sudden and dramatic change of mood of the listeners?

• It was simply because Jesus was “just one of them!”

• It was simply because Jesus was “too acquainted to them!”

Familiarity often breeds contempt!

• When one is too close to the Divine, one has to be also aware that there are greater possibilities of losing the “sense of awe and wonder” and sink into the dangerous waters of “taking things for granted”

• When one is constantly handling Divine objects, there is also the greater chance of losing the “awareness and thrill of the mystery” and get lost in the thickets of “being lethargic or unenthusiastic or even indifferent”

How many of us are prone to this danger….

Priests and the Religious constantly handle Divine objects and perform many spiritual exercises…

• Daily Holy Mass… Frequent recital of the Psalms in the Divine Office Prayer… Regular Adorations and administering and receiving of the Sacraments… Recurrent handling of the Bible, liturgical articles, reading and hearing Church teachings and life of saints….

>> Do all these help one to deepen one’s relationship with the Lord…?

>> Or do these cause one to lose the “sense of awe and wonder” and sink into the dangerous waters of “taking things for granted”… ?

Many Christians are engaged in a number of spiritual activities on a regular basis…

• Holy Eucharistic celebration… novenas… recital of the Rosary and other pious prayers of devotion… forwarding of devotional messages, pictures and videos through emails and Whatsapp and social networking tools…

>> Do all these help one to grow in spiritual life….?

>> Or do these make one to lose the “awareness and thrill of the mystery” and get lost in the thickets of “being lethargic or unenthusiastic or even indifferent” … ?

The people failed to recognize the worth and value of Jesus due to “too much familiarity”.

However this familiarity was only “external and peripheral”…

Such kind of a familiarity had, in fact, caused them to be ignorant, contemptuous and prejudiced…

>> Ignorant… of the fact that amidst them was the Promised Messiah who was to save the world!

>> Contemptuous… of the fact that “one of them” could actually possess so much of wisdom and power!

>> Prejudiced… of the fact that “this ordinary Son of a carpenter” could ever be the Son of God!

Yes, how often do we reject the precious and important people and aspects of life… due to our ignorance…. our contempt of things… and our prejudiced mindsets!

We are invited today to “open our eyes” and to realize the worth and preciousness of God’s grace that we have been blessed with…

Each of us… personally… as a family… as a community… and as a Church, have been blessed and graced with immense favours and kindness from the Lord.

• True that we have a lot of difficulties to face in our life…

• True that we have much to complain in the maze of the many crisis we undergo..

Yet amidst all this…

Can we lift up our hearts in thanksgiving and gratitude for the Lord’s Guiding Presence with us, always… and learn to grow deeper in our love for Him?

Can we accord the deserving status and recognition to the Lord’s presence in our lives?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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