Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Mk 6:1-6

When Jesus comes home to Nazareth to preach at the local synagogue , his reception is almost schizophrenic.At first the locals heap praise upon him for his interpretation of scripture, they then turn on him presumably because of his background as a carpenters son. They can appreciate his wisdom,but accepting it from someone of such low rank as a tradesman is beyond their abilities. It seems, for them unless it is explained from someone high up in the social hierarchy, it is invalid even if it makes sense; and that makes no sense! With that type of logic, are these people listening to the wisdom of scripture, or are they instead listening to the authorities who are reading these scriptures? HAs their culture become incapable of listening to Gods wisdom, because man’s ambitions are standing in the Way?

Many of the people that were in charge of the temples and synagogues were of designated classes, priests, and scribes. Pharisees too were an isolated class, though not a part of the religious establishment, they wielded much weight in swaying peoples opinions.Their view was for a Jewish culture to be maintained separate from the culture of the pagans. Sadducees, like the Pharisees wielded much religious-political clout and attracted many wealthy patrons along with the support of the ruling priests.With all of these factions of established religious/political powers; who was this carpenters son to speak as their equal? Who was this Jesus to challenge them? To align with his teachings would have been to go against the established authorities of the day; and that is exactly what Jesus did.Did power and influence replace wisdom ? 

Jesus did challenge the Pharisees, and the Sadducees, and the Sanhedrin.Though his scriptural wisdom was flawless, people were not willing to go against their current interpreter’s even though they were flawed.Jesus replies to their rejection with “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house.” The prophets of Israel, did not always come from high rank, and they did go against the authorities of the day. The prophets mission was to promote the change that they were unwilling to accept, to deliver the message of God to those who need to hear it. Sadly the Good News is not always accepted.Fortunately, those who preach that Good News, don’t always give up.

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