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The good news for the day February 1, 2017

Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time (325)

Jesus left there and came back—accompanied by his followers—to his home town. When the Sabbath came along, he began to teach in the synagogue there. Many of the people listening to him were surprised: They said things like, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What significant stuff has been done by his hands? Isn’t he a working man, Mary’s son, the brother of James, Joseph, Jude, and Simon—and aren’t his sisters here with us?” These people went wrong (“were scandalized”) because of him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not disdained—except among his own—among his own family and in his own household.” Consequently, He was not able to do much of anything significant there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was taken aback by their failure to have faith. (Mark 6)

Jesus meets opposition because of the expectations and prejudices of his home town. Elsewhere, we find that this changed—later one, we know that James, the “Brother of Jesu” took a leading role in the community—but here and now—the knee-jerk reaction is that a “hick” could preach well and work miracles—with little or no instruction from Pharisees, teachers of the Torah, or other educators.  Let us consider this instantaneous rejection of Jesus because of his home town’s “lack of faith”—how it challenges you. (Remember we like our prophets dead.)

Faith involves—requires—a break with what you have been led to believe; you embrace freedom to accept new truth that confronts your past life—as Jesus confronted his family here. Faith sees what you have not seen before, hears what you have not heard before. Faith means accepting that this new thing—a message, a significant act, a revelation—confronts your conscience and principles—and then that you accept it is from God. Faith means a denial of self, a courage within your own soul. Faith cuts through your “righteousness” and creates your humility, your willingness to be taught by God, rather than by your society and its culture. Faith means your always-fresh start to embrace—and absorb—the Life which is Mystery

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