Introductory Prayer: O Lord, you said that blest are they who find no stumbling block in you. I want to be the best person, so that you may find in me no obstacle in me to the holiness you want for me. I believe in you, but I long for a greater ncrease my faith to see and respond to the signs of your hand moving in my world. I love you, Lord, and wish to Enable me to lead my brothers and sisters to find you through my testimony, through my being truly convinced that you are the life of men.
Petition: Lord, grant me the gift of total surrender to your will for me in all things.
1. “Where did this man get all this? What mighty deeds are wrought bye his hands” How beautiful it is to contemplate the humble and meek Christ! He now manifests, to the shock and awe of the worldly-minded, the signs of his true origin and the nature of his true mission. The power of God, the power of the supernatural, now intervenes in what is merely natural, in a man who the horizontal reasoning of men has experienced as merely through the mere “the carpenter’s son.” The “signs of credibility” that Christ enacts through his mighty words and deeds powerfully point to his divine origins and invite his contemporaries to faith. It is an invitation to leave behind them the superficial category of Jesus as just a nice neighbor (a category which means they can live the same as before) and receive the gift of Christ as Redeemer (which means change and conversion). Man is made naturally to find the meaning of his life in what is supernatural. Resistance to Christ is, in this sense, not natural to man, but rather shows the vicious disorder of pride as it perverts men’s choices and distorts his perceptions. All the signs are there; they admit it, but prefer not to let the reality of it change their hearts. Are there signs in my life that the Lord is looking to change me, to change my behavior in some way so as toI might live more by faith and charity? How much longer will I resist before I will ambe won over by his goodness?
2. “And they took offense at him.” It is a sacrifice to give God his place in the ordinary flow of our day. To do so, we need to sacrifice our sense of self-sufficiency, by which we are inclined to be the prime mover of everything in our world. We need to sacrifice our vanity, which desists from those efforts to adore God since it bringsthey bringthat receive little or no applause from those around us. We need to sacrifice the comfort of our naturalism, our horizontal view of things. Ultimately this sacrifice is a work of love responding to a divine invitation to share in God’s life––love, because he is asking and wants to see me us giving. Let me us move my our hearts to embrace this sacrifice joyfully and only, for the sake of love.
It helps to see that in this passage there are no neutral states. Those who reject the invitation to love logically are turned to love’s opposite––hate––, specifically the hatred of the supernatural. It is a tragedy at work in our culture in many places, giving rise to the forces of anti-evangelization. Let us pray and be vigilant that it may never become our tragedy.
3. “He was not able to perform any mighty deed there.” Our Lord makes himself vulnerable to us, to our willingness to believe. He comes, as we have contemplated earlier this week, only to make us happy and to elevate our lives to be more beautiful, deeper in meaning and richer in fruits. He wants to bring into our life his power to work miracles, and to move mountains of fear and burdens that we encounter. He comes to be ointment for our wounds and consolation for our weary hearts. The only thing he needs to make us happy, then, is our faith, an our unconditional and active faith. Without it–– (since he respects our freedom––, ), we cripple his capacity to act in our life as Savior and Lord. How sad it is to see how easily we refuse such a selfless and beautiful gift.
ConversationDialogue with Christ: Lord, teach me to receive you with a heart ready to leave my rationalistic way of acting and choosing. Help me to know how to read your invitations with supernatural faith and to follow them in true obedience, where true love proves itself.
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