July 5, 2009
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for this Sunday, the day we celebrate your Resurrection. I believe that you walk with us, Lord. I believe that you come into our “synagogue” today and bring your message of salvation. I trust that you will guide me to greater light today. Thank you for coming to look for me.
Petition: Lord, help me to have a heart and will open to your message.
1. God Can Surprise Us
Jesus was well known in Nazareth -- or so they thought. But there was something they had never seen in him: they never saw the power of God in him. He was too ordinary. Our life can seem too ordinary to us sometimes. We may not recognize the voice of God when he calls to us, when he asks for a deeper faith and commitment to him. We may not recognize him speaking through the example and words of others. We may not shake off our routine and truly listen to the Word of God. We can learn from the surprise the people of Nazareth showed at Jesus’ true identity, as it will help us to be more alert to God’s surprises.
2. “And They Took Offense at Him”
Jesus can offend us. He came to shake up certainties about the closeness of God. God becomes uncomfortably close in Jesus. He knows all about us. He “grew up” with us: he knows our whole history, our weaknesses and our inadequacies. He expects much more of us than what we have given up to now. I need to let God challenge me every day. Only in that way can I really discover Jesus, the miracle-maker. Only in that way can I work with him to change myself and the world around me.
3. “He was Amazed at Their Lack of Faith”
What is there in my life that I think Jesus cannot touch, cannot change? Am I willing to present it humbly to Jesus each day so that he can slowly transform me? Do I try to use my spiritual commitments to grow in faith? Do I trust in Christ? If not, I need to ask him to increase that trust. He wants to make me into a saint. He wants to change this world. He can. I simply have to put my trust in him.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you have shown me that you can overcome any obstacle. I know that you want to show your power in me. Help me to believe in you more today. Let me show others the confidence and joy that you bring. Your power is present in my soul, Lord. Help me discover the signs of your Resurrection.
Resolution: Today I will make an extra act of charity for my family.
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