Everyday Stewardship


July 8, 2018                14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

If you have been closely following the Sunday readings, today’s Gospel could sound a bit like a broken record. Four weeks ago, the Gospel told of Jesus visiting his home of Nazareth and being poorly received by his family members. Jesus had attracted a large crowd as he preached, and his concerned relatives came to bring him home. Jesus, they thought, was out of his league.

Today Jesus takes things further. He returns to Nazareth. Rather than preaching from his house, he enters the synagogue. He speaks eloquently. The listeners acknowledge that “wisdom has been given him” and recognize the “mighty deeds wrought by his hands,” but it is too much for them to bear. “Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary?” The listeners know his whole clan, his male and female relatives. Jesus as carpenter was acceptable. Even Jesus as fringe preacher was interesting enough to draw a crowd. But Jesus as authoritative teacher is too much. “They took offense at him.”

As Christians, we have known the truth of Jesus’ identity since we were first introduced to him. He is fully human and fully divine. He is the second person of the Trinity. It could be easy to look down on these 1st century listeners for their lack of faith. But where do we expect to learn our own lessons? The more we age, the easier it is to believe we understand the world and how it works. We have experience with people, with the Church, with politics, and with the affairs of daily living. We have developed criteria for first impressions. We categorize. Today we remember that the Christian life requires humility. Jesus’ listeners have an expectation of how things should be, and their lack of faith causes doubt in others. “He was not able to perform any mighty deeds there.” Do your assumptions limit your perspective? Who can you learn from that you did not expect?

MEDITACIÓN EVANGÉLICO – ALENTAR ENTENDIMIENTO MÁS PROFUNDO DE LA ESCRITURA

8 de julio de 2018       14º Domingo del tiempo ordinario

Con frecuencia nos sorprendemos y hasta nos quedamos boquiabiertos cuando una persona sencilla, sin estudios, sobresale en su familia y su ambiente. No podemos creer sus logros. No aceptamos su liderazgo. Tiene que salir a otros lugares para que la reconozcan. ¿Has experimentado esto en tu vida? ¿Conoces a alguien que haya vivido esa experiencia? Pues, algo parecido le pasó a Jesús en su pueblo, donde las personas se preguntaban: “¿No es éste el carpintero?”. Y Jesús afirma: “Si hay un lugar donde un profeta es despreciado, es en su tierra, entre sus parientes y en su propia familia”. Las acciones de Jesús iban más allá de lo que un carpintero podía hacer o saber.

Lo triste de esta situación entre las personas del pueblo de Jesús, es que estaban completamente ciegos, bloqueados y, por lo tanto, no pudieron gozar de la cercanía y los beneficios que el “carpintero” les ofrecía. Al sentirse tan ofendidos, limitaron la gracia de Dios y, a la vez, a Jesús en su demostración de la presencia del Reino de Dios entre su pueblo. ¡Qué pena!, diríamos nosotros. Pero la enseñanza del Evangelio es abierta, grande, ancha en la persistencia de Dios de acercarse a los que lo reciben. Ahora, cabe preguntarse: ¿Quién me ha guiado a la sabiduría de Dios en la trayectoria de mi vida? ¿He limitado alguna vez la acción del Señor Jesús por prejuicios? ¿Qué dirá la gente de lo que hago por otros? Recordemos que por el bautismo somos profetas de esperanza en este mundo roto por el pecado. Lo bueno es que la sabiduría de Dios es fiel compañera de quien la acepta para hacer el bien en su tierra y fuera de ella.

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