14TH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

Readings

Mark 6: 1-6

Ezekiel 2: 2-5

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10

Mark begins a new theme narrative with today’s Gospel: the blindness of people to the Power and authority of Jesus. The people of his hometown reject his message. They consider Jesus too much “one of them” to be taken seriously. They are too obsessed with superficialities – occupation, ancestry, origins – to realize God present in their midst and to be affected by that presence.

Today’s first reading is the story of another prophet who experienced trying times. Ezekiel is called by God to speak his word to his own people – Judean Jews who have been repatriated from their beloved Jerusalem to Babylon. They are a defeated, distrusting people who feel abandoned by God and suspicious of anyone who claims to speak of the God they, in fact, had themselves “rebelled” against.

In the final reading in this weekly series from his letters to the Corinthians (second reading), Paul reflects on the difficult challenge of discipleship.

Themes:

The authority of inspiration.

There is the kind of authority that one possesses by virtue of an office or position, the authority that bestows the “power” to make decisions and set policy. But there is another kind of authority that one possesses by virtue of study, performance or commitment to a high set of moral and ethical standards, an authority that give that individual the “power” to inspire. Such is the authority of Jesus. His authority is not derived from his ability to manipulate the fears, suspicions, apathy or ignorance of those around him but from the spirit of mercy, justice and compassion he is able to call forth from them. Those who speak not to our emotions and wants but to our consciences, who speak not in catchy slogans and buzz words but in the conviction of their actions possess the authority of Jesus that is deserving of our respect and attentiveness.