Jul 8 (Mk 6:1-6)

When the first missionaries went to Japan, a young Japanese boy wanted to learn English.

The missionaries handed him a copy of the Gospels and asked him to translate to his native language.

(The boy – an avid reader – had never heard about Jesus and considered the book as being just one of the “many books that he had read”)

After a few pages of translation, the boy became very agitated and restless.

Approaching the missionaries, he said to them: “Who is this Man about Whom I have been reading in this book? This Jesus!

>> You call Him a Man… but to me, he appears as a God!”

The boy was under the impression that he was reading a book about a famous Man…

… only to discover that he was actually encountering The Great God in the Book!

Yes, a genuine and honest encounter with the Word of God always causes a great impact on people…

>> Some either feel greatly drawn by the Divine…

>> Some however, also feel a great sense of denial and refusal of God’s Ways

The Gospel of the Day presents this dual-reaction to Jesus, the Word of God…

… an initial sense of rejoicing and enthrallment

… and later, a purposeful rejection of the Divine Ways and Will

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

… due to our contempt of things

… and due to 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?

A genuine and honest encounter with the Word of God always causes a great impact on people…

>> Some either feel greatly drawn by the Divine…

>> Some however, also feel a great sense of denial and refusal of God’s Ways

What is our Reaction and Response to Jesus, the Word of God?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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