Jesus is rejected by many from His hometown of Nazareth. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Prayer so he can learn to pray from Jesus and by pursuing the Virtue of Piety so he can be devoted to St. Joseph and seek his intercession. 

Liturgy

14th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle B – Mk 6:1-6

Commentary

As His reputation continues to grow, Jesus returns to His “own country” (the literal meaning of the Greek is “fatherland”) of Nazareth to reveal Himself as the promised Messiah. A Nazarene who speaks Aramaic with a Nazarene accent, Jesus desired His own people of Nazareth would be among the first to come to Him. 

As Jesus teaches in the synagogue, the people are astonished (literally, “thunderstruck”) by His mighty works and profound wisdom, but wonder about the source of Jesus’ great wisdom and power. Their skepticism grows, remembering Jesus is a simple carpenter, the son of Mary (presumably, St. Joseph has died) and the relative of others from Nazareth; the brothers and sisters mentioned are cousins for Jesus was the only child of the perpetually virgin Mary (CCC 496-511). Mysteriously, despite having the Son of God, the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph in their midst for years, the people have failed to recognize Jesus’ Divinity and the holiness of the Holy Family. 

In their hardness, the people are offended and reject God in their midst; they have disbelief, not just little faith. Jesus, with sorrow and amazement at their lack of faith, condemns their disbelief (“a prophet is not without honor…”). Unconstrained by men (or their disbelief), Jesus chooses to perform only a few healing miracles in Nazareth and leaves, focusing His work on surrounding villages which will receive Him with ecstatic joy. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Reflect upon how Jesus reacts to the unbelief of His own kinsfolk in His hometown: Divine Prophet, Jesus with Generosity (a part of Justice) proclaims the Truth (a part of Justice) to His own people in the synagogue; the perfection of Meekness (a part of Temperance), rather than react with just Wrath at the insults to Him and His parents, Jesus offers a Gentle Rebuke (“A prophet is not without honor…”); with Vindication (a part Justice by which behaviors are rewarded and punished), Jesus refuses to perform miracles for those who disbelieve.

Learn to pray from Jesus

Realize: Jesus chooses to only miraculously heal a few of the sick in Nazareth due to the men’s obstinate lack of faith; tragically, many men today shut themselves off from Jesus’ overflowing graces due to doubts, willful disbelief, love of sin, and failure to simply pray; every Catholic man must build a life of prayer to receive Christ’s blessings.

Believe: Reflect upon how Jesus Teaches Men to Pray (CCC 2607-2616).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Prayer, help me build the Virtue of Prayer (a part of Justice) by teaching me to know how to draw close to You, speak to You and listen to You; teach and strengthen me to lead my family in prayer, especially my children, so I may become an example of prayer who inspires them to come to know, love and serve You.

Be devoted to St. Joseph and seek his intercession

Realize: References to St. Joseph’s hometown of Nazareth reminds every Catholic man to have a robust devotion to St. Joseph, the patron saint of the Holy Catholic Church, of families, and of fathers; St. Joseph, the man of highest virtue, chosen earthly father of Jesus, has great power to intercede for every Catholic man who seeks his guidance and protection. 

Believe: Reflect upon the need for Devotion to St. Joseph (CCC 1014, 2177).

Pray: Almighty Father, help be build the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice), so I always recognize and honor St. Joseph each day in prayer, build a robust devotion to him, and seek St. Joseph’s intercession in my daily life. St. Joseph, pray for me.