Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time- Cycle B

July 5, 2015

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Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Ezekiel 2:2-5

Psalm: 123: 1-4

Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10

Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 1-6

  • St. Mark does not mention Jesus’ purpose for returning to Nazareth, but it is apparent that the townsfolk had heard the accounts of his preaching and miracles that he had performed in other parts of the region (verse 2). Perhaps feeling a bit of contempt for his humble beginnings, and envy at this small-town product returning with such an obvious following (verses 1-3), they “took offense at him” (or, as some translations render it, “stumbled” or were “scandalized” by him).
  • Jesus likens their response to that afforded the Old Testament prophets, who were also often held in contempt and persecuted by their own people (v 4; Matt. 5:11-12; Heb. 11:32-38).
  • In an ironic contrast, whereas in last week’s reading we saw two examples of faith in Jesus by those whom had only heard of him (Mark 5:21-43), this reading concerns the lack of faith by those who have known him and his family all his life.
  • (Verse 3 is often cited in an attempt to “prove” that the Blessed Virgin Mary had other children. However, it must be remembered that in Semitic usage, “brother” had a much broader meaning than our use of the word—it was often used to describe relatives of all sorts, including cousins, nephews and uncles. In addition, we know that “James and Joses” are the sons of another Mary [Mary of Clophas; John 19:25], and that the Judas mentioned was the son of a certain James [Luke 6:16]. See CCC 499-507).

 

QUESTIONS:

  • After the two power-draining miracles we heard about last week, what happens when Jesus goes home? Why?
  • What was Jesus’ “native place”? What was his history there (Luke 2:39; 4:16-30)? Why might he have moved from this place to live in the lakeshore village of Capernaum, also basing his ministry there (Mark 2:1; 3:19)?
  • How might an emotion like envy impede one’s faith? How might your envy at the success of another keep Jesus from answering your prayers?
  • How has familiarity with Jesus blocked you from really seeing who he is? What helps you to get a fresh look?
  • How does your family react to your faith in Christ? How does that affect you?

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 2610, 2087-2089, 678

 

We are convinced beyond doubt that the truths of faith cannot deceive us; yet we cannot seem to bring ourselves to trust in them. It is easier for us to trust in human reasons and the deceiving appearances of the world. This, precisely, is the reason for our poor progress in virtue and in all that pertains to God's glory.  --St. Vincent de Paul

 

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- St. Jerome