Just a thought today on the Gospel (printed below), as I'm on holidays and not preaching. Our Lord's reaction to his rejection in his home town is, I think, instructive. Is he disappointed by their reaction? Yes; in fact he is amazed at their unbelief. Does he let this interfere with his mission? Not at all. He continues teaching, travelling from village to village. He sends out his Apostles two by two to call people to repentance, giving them authority over unclean spirits.
Jesus doesn't let his poor reception in Nazareth get in the way of proclaiming the Good News. In fact, he never lets anything get in the way of that.
Something for us all to keep in mind when we are feeling discouraged, when we think no one wants to listen, when we are mocked for trying to share the Gospel. Like us he faced difficulties in bringing the Word to others. His perseverance in the face of those difficulties should encourage us, who are called to be Christ-like in all our ways, to continue whatever we face.
Mark 6: 1-13
He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.’ So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
What is reallove? Is it some emotional state, the feeling of being in love? No, for this kind of love will pass when the moment passes, some difficulty arises, or the charms and beauty of the beloved fades.
True love is to will the good of the other. The greatest good you can do for another is, of course, to aid them in all ways that you can to enter into eternal life. Therefore, you will do nothing to tempt or encourage them to sin. You will certainly never do anything with them that is sinful. And if you see them sinning, you will gently remind them of what Christ teaches.
You do this not because you judge them; not because you wish to 'spoil' their fun. You do this because you love them and and that love causes you to desire with every fibre of you being the greatest good for them.
Jesus said 'Truly I tell you that this widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.'
Of your weekly 'budget' of time and money, how much goes to the Lord? Is it only from what is 'left over' that you wouldn't miss? Or is it more; do you, like the widow, offer everything that you have to live on?