Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 8, 2018

Reading 1      EZ 2:2-5

As the LORD spoke to me, the spirit entered into me
and set me on my feet,
and I heard the one who was speaking say to me:
Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites,
rebels who have rebelled against me;
they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day.
Hard of face and obstinate of heart
are they to whom I am sending you.
But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD GOD!
And whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house—
they shall know that a prophet has been among them.
 

Responsorial Psalm 

R. (2cd) Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
To you I lift up my eyes
who are enthroned in heaven —
As the eyes of servants
are on the hands of their masters.

R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
As the eyes of a maid
are on the hands of her mistress,
So are our eyes on the LORD, our God,
till he have pity on us.

R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

Have pity on us, O LORD, have pity on us,
for we are more than sated with contempt;
our souls are more than sated
with the mockery of the arrogant,
with the contempt of the proud.

R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

Reading 2      2 COR 12:7-10

Brothers and sisters:
That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.”
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.

AlleluiaCF. LK 4:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, “Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?”
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house.”
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Wat is seen is known. What is unseen is believed. Many no longer biliv in God & d things tht pertain 2 Him bcoz they dnt c Him. Biliv evn if u dnt see. Knowledge may leave us uncertain. Faith reaches out & leads us to heaven.
Previously, these demoniacs were described as so “savaged that no one could travel by that road”. But now, they pleaded w/ Jesus. They feared Jesus. Whom do u fear more, d demons or Jesus? Fear no devil or any evil. God will always prevail.
In spite wat ppol thot, albeit negatively, abt his actions, Jesus pursued all d mor doing wat was gud 4 d paralytic. Ur gudness does not depend on d aceptance of ppol. Othrs hv d ryt 2 criticize u, but it shud not stop u 2 do wat u ought 2 do.
Discrimination by rizon of social, racial, moral, religious, sexual, color, physical, educational & other factors is still operational 2day as it was in Jesus’ time. Learn. We hv one common humanity. No one is different.

D law of preservation considers d nature of d aspect of d thing that needs 2 be preserved & tht w/c needs 2 be changed. God changes us only in so far as we are disposed 2 change. R u resistant or open 2 change?

Fr. Ramon T. Salibay, O.P.

Lack of Faith

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time [July 8, 2018] Mark 6:1-6

He was amazed at their lack of faith.” (Mk. 6:6)

holy family carpentry shopWhen Jesus teaches in the synagogue in Nazareth, the listeners are amazed by his wisdom. Jesus speaks like a mighty prophet. However, the people soon make a background check on Jesus, and they realize Jesus’ identity and his family background.  Nazareth is a small rural town in Galilee, and everyone knows everyone in this kind of setting. The people of Nazareth know Jesus as a son of a carpenter, and himself a carpenter. They are familiar also with Jesus’ family and relatives.

It is just impossible for a carpenter, an artisan who spends most of his time doing manual labor to acquire such profound wisdom. The people of Nazareth also recognize that Jesus is a son of Mary and they know His relatives. It seems the people are aware that Jesus’ relatives are just ordinary and poor Jews. None of them seems to possess a notable personality. Jesus should stay where He belongs: an ordinary Jewish and a poor laborer. Thus, to become a charismatic preacher and an admirable rabbi is simply unthinkable. Jesus, recognizes the root cause: lack of faith.

We are living two millennia after Christ, but unfortunately, this debilitating mentality continues to exist and even thrive in our midst. It is a mentality that boxes people in their limitations and suppresses their potential to grow and improve. This is the mentality that fuels fundamentalism, racism, negative stereotypes, and other destructive ideologies that divide people. Once a loser, always a loser; once an Asian, always an Asian; once an addict, always an addict. Yet, this mentality does not only reside the big ideologies, but it also affects our personal lives: when we think we are always right, and others are always wrong; when we believe that we are holier than others; when we only trust ourselves; when we refuse to forgive others; when we cling to our pride.

Dealing with this crippling mentality, Jesus brings to the fore the reality that humans are beings with faith. With faith, that is the spiritual gift from God; we are empowered to go beyond our own cultural, mental, bodily limitations. In the Gospels, faith enable God’s power to do much more in persons’ lives, and the same faith inspires us to see God’s works in us. The paralytic is healed because of the faith of his friends who carry him to Jesus (Mark 2:1-6); the woman with hemorrhage is healed because of her faith (Mark 5:25-34); Jesus tells Jairus, the synagogue official to have faith and Jesus brings his daughter to life (Mark 5:35-43).

I am currently doing my pastoral work as a chaplain in one of the hospitals in Metro Manila. My duty is to visit the patients, to give blessing and minister the Holy Communion, but fundamentally, to be with them and listen to them. I cannot do much in term of physical cure, but I realize that sickness is not only physical. Healing includes psychological and spiritual aspects. I journey with the patients in their joy, sorrow, frustration, and hope. I accompany them as they try to resolve some issues like anger, broken relationship, and painful memories. As I walk with them, I also realize my weaknesses. Yet, despite this brokenness, people with faith have always found strength and courage to heal, to go beyond themselves and live a meaningful life.

Br. Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP

Sunday Gospel Reflections
Fr. Toto Cerada, SDB
Mary Help of Christians Parish, Calamba City

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