Absence of Faith

Bandera (Mindanao) - - NEWS - – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M., Email: dan.delosangeles@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 4th Week in Ordinary Time 1st Reading: 2 S 24:2, 9-17 Gospel: Mark 6:1-6

Jesus returned to his own country, and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath came, he began teaching in the synagogue, and most of those who heard him were astonished. They commented, “How did this come to him? What kind of wisdom has been given to him that he also performs such miracles? Who is he but the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joset and Judas and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here among us?” So they took offense at him.

And Jesus said to them, “Prophets are despised only in their own country, among their relatives and in their own family.” And he could work no miracles there, but only healed a few sick people by laying his hands on them. Jesus himself was astounded at their unbelief. Jesus then went around the villages teaching.

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE (Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

If faith can move mountains, the lack of it can render them immovable even by God’s power. Consider what happened to the people of Nazareth. Faith could have removed all obstacles hindering them from believing in Jesus, including the big and significant issue of his origin. Jesus’ origin was a big issue to them because prophets have foretold that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. Because Jesus was their neighbor in Nazareth, they presumed he was also born there.

This issue, no matter how big, could have given way to other significant matters had they the kind of faith that moves mountains. One significant matter that could have eclipsed the issue of origin was Jesus’ extraordinary works. They themselves admitted that Jesus’ works were miraculous. They commented, “How did this come to him? What kind of wisdom has been given to him that he also performs such miracles?”

Jesus’ extraordinary works should have prompted them to take a second look at his origins. We know from New Testament narratives that though Jesus settled in Nazareth, it was actually at a manger in Bethlehem that his mother Mary gave birth to him. Surely they had a way of finding this out, somehow. Moreover, the prophets did not only identify the place of birth of the Messiah. They also established his lineage. It wasn’t impossible for them to check out the lineage of Joseph who stood as father to Jesus.

Since they did not have the faith that could move mountains, the issue of origin stood like an insurmountable mountain between them and Jesus. It was a mountain not even God could move away because of the absence of faith in their hearts.

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