July 4, 2021
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Readings for Today
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. Mark 6:4–6
Jesus’ encounter with His own kin in His own town was disappointing. They were amazed at His wisdom and the mighty deeds He performed. But despite this amazement at Him, they “took offense at Him.” They took offense because they didn’t understand how someone whom they knew well, one of their own kin, could be someone special. They allowed their closeness and familiarity with Jesus to cloud their ability to have faith in Him and to rejoice in His greatness.
We do not have this same struggle in a direct way. None of us are from Jesus’ own town or members of His extended family by blood relations. But we can still fall into the trap of turning Jesus away as He is present in those closest to us, within our own family and among our close friends.
This struggle that Jesus encountered reveals our tendency to look at those closest to us without the eyes of faith. Though Jesus was falsely judged, we can, at times, enter into judgment of those close to us on account of their sins or even our false perception of their good actions. Are you able to see others in the light of truth? Are you also able to look beyond the weakness and sins of others and see the presence and grace of God alive in their lives? Are you able to see their goodness and allow God to speak to you through those closest to you? This can be more of a struggle than we may realize.
If it happened to Jesus, it will happen in our families too. The lesson we should learn from this is to identify the temptation to see only the negative in the lives of those closest to us. If we can overcome that temptation, we will be able to focus in on the presence of God alive in their lives. This should be the first and primary thing we seek to discover each and every day.
Reflect, today, upon how well you do see God present in those closest to you. If you find you struggle with that, see it as a temptation you are called to overcome. Discovering the presence of God alive in those around you will help you to grow in love of them and love of God.
Lord, help me to see You in the lives of those closest to me. Help me to rejoice in Your presence and to grow in love of others and in love of You as I see You at work in their lives. Jesus, I trust in You.
Further Reading – Independence Day—USA
Saint of the Day – Saint Elizabeth of Portugal
(Celebrated July 5 in the USA)
Not celebrated as a liturgical memorial this year since it falls on Sunday