Thursday, February 1, 2018

He Sent Them Out Two By Two

A Reflection on Today's Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 7-13.
He sent them out “two by two.”
In the Body of Christ, there is no “Jesus and me.” Even the hermit living apart from the world does so with the undistracted purpose of joining him or herself in intercessory prayer to every living soul for the sake of all their needs and intentions. Jesus Himself lived among us and did everything in union with the person and will of the Father. He never gave instructions to a solitary disciple to carry out anything on his own. In fact, whenever any one of them did act alone, they inevitably fell into sin: Judas’ questionable keeping of the purse, and his ultimate betrayal of the Lord; Peter’s denial that he even knew Jesus; Thomas’ absence from the others in upper room where the risen Lord first appeared, leaving him susceptible to unbelief.
Preaching the Good News in word and deed in pairs, the Twelve assisted, supported, interceded for, and affirmed one another—and held one another accountable. Even together, disciples can do nothing apart from the Lord. It is He who sends us and empowers us. It is in Him that we must remain to bear fruit, it is to Him that we must continually return to be refreshed, renewed and restored. And when we finally rest from all our labors, it is in Him that we together will rest eternally.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Prophet From Among Their Kin

A Commentary on the Gospel of Mark 6:1-6

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.”

 Perhaps we shouldn’t be too hard on Jesus’ fellow Nazarenes. Perhaps Jesus is just making a factual statement about human nature. How would we have reacted if someone we grew up with suddenly seemed to possess wisdom, knowledge and understanding which he could not have possibly acquired in the same classrooms we or our children sat in? Perhaps we, too, would have become indignant. After all, we saw nothing special in him during all those years. Why would God have chosen HIM, and not my child to be His prophet? But if someone from afar were to come and speak to their hearts, the fact that this man traveled so far to see and speak with THEM would have made them feel special; that God thought enough of them, cared for them so much, that He would send them someone to comfort them in body and spirit.  

 So then why does it say that Jesus was “amazed” at their lack of faith? Because He had grown up knowing them to be a people of faith. He worshiped for years in the synagogue with these same people, where he had learned the scriptures from them and surely heard them speak God’s praises as they recounted all the mighty works God had ever wrought. Why couldn’t they then believe that they were in fact special enough to be the chosen ones who would personally witness God’s fulfillment of the prophecy the Lord had spoken to Moses: “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kin, and will put my words into his mouth” (Dt. 18:15-20).