The sixth chapter of the Gospel of Mark begins with a series of questions. The people gathered in the synagogue, who had been listening to Jesus as he taught, were astonished at his wisdom. Because of this, they started asking questions about him. While we do not know what he was preaching to them, it must have been quite profound, because they were astonished that the words came from the carpenter, the son of Mary. Scripture tell us that his listeners recognized that the wisdom of Jesus was a gift, and they acknowledged that he had performed mighty deeds, but who was he? They wanted to know.
This passage from the Gospel of Mark is quite revealing. Those gathered in the synagogue must have been familiar with Jesus because they began to name his family, Mary his mother, his brothers and sisters. It is important to note that
this identification as brothers and sisters must be taken with the context of the time and language in which Jesus was living. These “brothers and sisters” would be more like extended family, perhaps cousins. This passage in no way contradicts the truth that Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit and that she had no additional children.
The crowd, initially, was very taken with the authority in which Jesus proclaimed the Scripture. It was when they tried to reconcile how he could do so as a carpenter’s son that their admiration turned animosity. They took offense at Jesus. It is not unreasonable to assume that he had worshiped with them, and now he was clearly being set apart as a prophet. Their question indicated a lack of faith, because they, no doubt, had been witnesses to his earlier words and deeds. In spite of this, they had trouble accepting that the carpenter could be the Chosen One. Some who knew Jesus and lived in his community doubted who he was. The Incarnation continues to be a challenge for many even today, more than 2000 years later.
For those of us who “walk by faith, not by sight,” there is a recognition that the Incarnation was a beautiful event, a real moment in time. We are here today because we believe in Jesus, even though we never shook his hand or heard his human voice. We are here because we believe in God’s Word. The Tradition of the Church, and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. We believe in the personal encounter we have with Jesus in every sacrament. Our faith, as it carries us through all of our trials in life.
But in the life of every Christian, we are, at times, like the people in the synagogue. We ask questions about Jesus. If you are among those who have stood at the foot of the cross and pondered his death, that does not mean you lack faith. But it is important to remain faithful on our journey of seeking greater awareness of Christ. We, too, may at times be puzzled by the carpenter, Mary’s son, but we are blessed in our knowledge of the Resurrection. This is something the synagogue audience could not have known.
Due to the lack of faith Jesus encountered on that day, Scripture tells us that he was unable to do all he could have. He cured a few sick people when he put his hands on them, but it is apparent that their lack of faith was an obstacle to their receiving the fullness of his words and deeds. Jesus himself acknowledged this when he told the people that A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in is his own house. As we prepare to receive Jesus in our heart and in our homes, let us recall these words and welcome him in great faith.
Sincerely in Christ, Father John C. Moloney
Congratulations on 35 years of Marriage! God Bless Don and Joanna Scholz on their 35th wedding anniversary. on Sunday, July 5th, they had their marriage blessed by Father Moloney. Believe it or not, they stood in this very place on the same day 35 years ago! It was a beautiful Mass! Thank you, Don and Joanna for all you do for the parish.
Welcome, Father McFadden! We welcome Father Richard McFadden who is now in residence at the parish. Father McFadden will be studying Canon Law in Rome; however, when he is home, he will live at St. Kevin. We are very happy to have Father McFadden and hope you can join us in welcoming him to St. Kevin!
We are in great need of housing for the many out-of-town visitors coming for the World Meeting of Families in September. The Host a Family program we are using is one of those alternative options. Please help us promote this and find local families to open their homes to visitors as Host Families. Attached, you will find a Host a Family Flyer and the Host a Family bulletin insert. A link to a short video is also below, which shows how someone can become a Host. Any questions regarding the Host a Family program can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org://bit.ly/HostAFamily