FROM THE PASTOR
It does come to us as a surprise; even shocking to us, that there were some people that even Jesus himself could not reach! This is the first part of the gospel reading for Sunday 4 July (from Mark 6:1-6). This is not the first time Jesus faced opposition when he preached the gospel. Not only Jesus’ message, but also his ministry; Jesus was jeered and rejected by people; the Greek word used in this text is Scandal. Jesus’ ministry and the gospel message often caused a scandal. We may even recall Paul’s writings, the message of the gospel is a stumbling block, etc. One of Jesus’ visits also caused a riot! And some religious leaders drove him out of the city. His life could have been taken then and there if God had not intervened.
This visit though, in Mark, riled some of the synagogue leaders, because Jesus spoke with such a great authority and wisdom that could only come from God; and to them Jesus was a nobody; an upstart, who is this guy? If we read on from verse 6, Marks states some having said, “After all, isn’t he just a carpenter, the son of Mary, a brother to her children…”. And so we hear that famous statement of Jesus that still rings true today, “A prophet is without honor, except in his hometown”…, ‘and they took offense at him’.
Jesus left his mark though; he laid hands and healed a few sick people. Whether it is in our own home, suburb, city, place of work, office, at some stage or another, we too will come across people with whom we apparently can not reach; this can come as a bit of a shock to us. Sometimes others are unresponsive; they will turn their ears away, they will not always warmly welcome a kind or gracious word, even when we our intentions are genuinely caring, and in the right place. This is shocking to hear and to know; yet God still loves all people and wants them to come to knowledge of truth of salvation in Jesus. So, with God’s help, we can nevertheless leave our mark with them; whether they see it or not; leave them with love and care and concern. God will use that to make its way into their hearts; God can cause a small prayer, a small kind word, a small glass of water to bring about God’s message.
Another person may put down what you have to offer, that’s fine, but no one can stop you, or destroy, or eliminate the good things you have to offer someone else; whatever special thing is that you have from God to give to someone else. There are many, many times, when our deeds, out of God’s love for us, do proclaim loudly and quite effectively the gospel of God’s love. If nothing else happens, like what happened to Jesus, at least, our words, actions, deeds, are like seeds that prepare the way for someone else; someone else to water, another to nurture; others who follow in our wake, and a harvest will be reaped by our Heavenly Father, in Jesus Christ.
God bless you in sharing and enacting the gospel message of God in real ways.
We Pray For:
† The continued preaching of the gospel and the right administration of the sacraments.
† Pastors, parish workers, youth workers, elders, pastoral assistants, leaders in the church and all those who help bring the gospel to a world where people are blinded by popular opinion and cannot see the truth.
† Our nation’s leaders—the Queen, her representatives, the parliaments, the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and departments, the Opposition and the whole system of government.
† Those living close to or below the poverty line, the homeless, the unemployed, pensioners, students and Indigenous people.