Proclaim Lord’s Love, Do not Force It!

Weekly Missionary Reflection
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 04 July 2021

Eze. 2:2-5; Ps. 123:1-2a,2bcd,3-4; 2Cor. 12:7-10; Mark 6:1-6

Last week we were presented with two examples of faith: Jairus and the anonymous woman. This week we have the contrary: the people without faith. At the beginning, they were astounded, but at the end they took offense at him. For Jesus, they were not strangers. They are people in His hometown. A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house. Jesus related this story of “failure” directly to the mission of the Twelve in next passage (v. 7-12). This relation shows the message from Mark: mission does not have to always succeed. Proclaiming the Gospel can be started from something that seem to be a failure.

Jesus came to His place of origin, or more appropriate : His homeland! This scene anticipates the final rejection on Jesus by His own (Jewish) people! The rejection on Jesus was witnessed by His disciples (v. 1). After being selected, they followed Him to be His witnesses of His words and works, as well as His success and failure. From this experience we have been reminded from the beginning: be prepared for the failure! Mission and cross walk together, just as happened in the life of the Teacher.

Today’s Gospel also teaches you and me to see Jesus in a balance way. On one side, Jesus is really presented as a human: He had homeland, job and relatives. Jesus took part in our humanity. He went through the joy and sorrow as a member of the society. He also felt the difficult and easy life of a carpenter. He enjoyed the intimacy and the tension in family. This is the Jesus that we have to proclaim: He who is close and in solidarity with us humans.

In another side, the humanity of Jesus should not be over-emphasized. Why was Jesus rejected by the people of His homeland? Because they felt that they had knew Him very well. He was nothing more than their country boy. They knew Him, His parents and relatives. He was just a carpenter, not an authoritative rabbi. His words could be astounding and amazing at the beginning, but at the end He was rejected. The image of Jesus who was too human was indeed impressive and looked intimate. Nevertheless, the amazement on His words and actions would fade. He become too intimate with us that His message becomes plain and unextraordinary anymore. This is a reminder for you and me: do not just stop at the humanity side of Jesus! He is not only a prophet, but also the Christ, the Son of God. His word must remain heard with faith, then it can really become an authoritative words and change human’s life.

Rejection from the native place and kin is an old phenomenon that always happens in real life. As a lay preacher, you and I will often experience it. Our people revere appearance, title and position. Content of the preaching is put in second priority. It is easy for you to be scorned, underestimated and even rejected. Your preaching might be admired at first, then ignored when they know “who you are”. If you experience this, remember that Jesus also went through it. God’s power is not need to be imposed. God’s love has to be always told. We have to keep on telling His love without having to force it. Just believe that God’s love empowers human, even though sometimes it seems powerless!

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Social Friendship: In the situation of social, politic and economic conflict, we hope to bravely and enthusiastically become a means of dialogue and friendship. We pray…

For Indonesian Churches intention:
For teachers: May all teachers be more creative by trying to develop the education materials through social media and technology. We pray…

Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
Please bestow us the Spirit of Joy, in order for us to feel the joy in educating the young people, like St. Joseph, together with Mother Mary escort the Son’s growth, in the Nazarene family. We pray…

Amen

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