Gospel - July 31, 2015

MT 13:54-58

Jesus came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him.

But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.


Reflection - July 31, 2015

Emily Thompson, '12

Initially, Jesus’s words may seem disheartening. Is he suggesting prophets should give up on their hometowns? Although Jesus recognizes the unique challenges of returning home, notice that he does not turn his back and leave. Jesus knows his friends and neighbors may reject him, and yet, he still preaches to them. He does not allow himself to become discouraged, frustrated, or embittered by their unbelief; nor does he force his message upon them. He seeks first to understand, rather than to be understood.

Reading this story, I cannot help but think of my sister. After spending a year volunteering in a children’s home in South Africa, last month she returned home to the United States. I can only imagine how difficult and shocking this transition must be—going from rural South Africa to suburban Leawood, Kansas!

When I was first reunited with her, I was a little afraid. Would it be my same Caroline? The girl with whom I attended high school and college, my sister and best friend? What if she was different? What if she had changed?

Seeing the growth and changes in loved ones can be disarming, but it can also be a source of wisdom, if we let it. The people of Nazareth allow fear and suspicion to rule their hearts, blinding them to the Good News Jesus has to share.

If we want to see the miraculous works of the Lord in our lives, we must open ourselves up to God’s transformative power. We must ask ourselves: In what ways are we letting preconceived notions blind us to God’s word? Are we willing to consider how God might be speaking to us through an unexpected messenger, an old friend, or even a kid sister?

Despite facing some less enthusiastic reactions to her experience, Caroline has responded with patience and grace, as Jesus does. I know her experience will enrich her family, and her entire community, for years to come.


Prayer - July 31, 2015

Father Bob Loughery, C.S.C.

Merciful God, again and again you invite us to the renewal of our lives. May we seek you in all the events of this day, and recognize your presence in our midst. May we never cease our search for you, especially through our struggles and uncertainty. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Gospel citations come from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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