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Homily

NOTES ON MARK 6:1-6: CONTEMPTUOUS ATTITUDE TO JESUS IN HIS NATIVE PLACE
By Augustine Agwulonu
Wed, 03 Feb 2016

NOTES ON MARK 6:1-6: CONTEMPTUOUS ATTITUDE TO JESUS IN HIS NATIVE PLACE

1. MOVEMENT:
Movement, as reported in this passage, falls within the pattern of Jesus's characteristic approach to his public ministry. He moves constantly and freely. Nothing inhibits his movement - he travels by land, he rides in boats and he even walks on the water. Time is not an obstacle to his travels - he journeys by day and in the evenings. Not even the needs of a given community or group of people would prevent Jesus from moving to other areas! Jesus moves in company with his disciples and followers. But he constantly initiates and leads the movement.

2. PRESENCE:
Jesus's presence in his native place does not seem to cause any overt reactions. Mark does not tell us how Jesus's kinsmen responds to his presence among them. However, we can assume that Jesus moves freely and unopposed in his home country, though he appears with strangers (his followers). Except for the demon possessed, Jesus's presence does not seem to cause any uproar. It is only the demons, who are stirred up when they see Jesus appear (cf. the demoniac, Mk 5).

3. ACTION (preaching):
Jesus preaches in the synagogue at his native place. Mark does not tell us what Jesus preaches about in his sermon. Jesus is faithful to the proclamation of the kingdom to all, even to his native people. This is a duty that Jesus never fails to fulfill. He might be biologically of one blood with his native people, but he is also invites them to an even more intimate relationship with through the Gospel he preaches. As St. Paul says, the Gospel is God's power to save those who believe. Jesus realizes how necessary it is to preach this Gospel everywhere, including his own native place.

4. RESPONSE:
Jesus receives a contemptuous response from his native people when he preaches in their synagogue! The singular reason for such a cold shoulder, which the people show Jesus is familiarity. They evaluate Jesus on the status of his biological affiliation. They do not care about the veracity of his preaching to them. To say the least, the attitude of this native people towards Jesus blocks the flow of grace and graciousness to them. They inadvertently hinder their own progress and impede spiritual and religious development in their community.

5. CONCLUSION:
To reject Jesus for whatsoever reason is not without its consequences. The presence of Jesus and his actions, be it preaching or healing are God's gracious outreach to us. To receive Jesus is to enjoy God's favor. The Lord preaches and directs us on the new to an even deeper union with God and relationship of love with one another.

 

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