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To: All

From: Mark 6:1-6

No Prophet Is Honored In His Own Country


[1] He (Jesus) went away from there and came to His own country; and His dis-
ciples followed Him. [2] And on the Sabbath He began to teach in the synagogue;
and many who heard Him were astonished saying, “Where did this man get all
this? What is the wisdom given to Him? What mighty works are wrought by His
hands! [3] Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and
Joses and Judah and Simon, and are not His sisters here with us?” And they
took offense at Him. [4] And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without ho-
nor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.”
[5] And He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands upon
a few sick people and healed them. [6] And He marvelled because of their un-
belief.

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Commentary:

1-3. Jesus is here described by His occupation and by the fact that He is the
son of Mary. Does this indicate that St. Joseph is dead already? We do not
know, but it is likely. In any event, the description is worth underlining: in the
Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke we are told of the virginal conception of
Jesus. St. Mark’s Gospel does not deal with our Lord’s infancy, but there may
be an allusion here to His virginal conception and birth, in His being described
as “the son of Mary.”

“Joseph, caring for the Child as he had been commanded, made Jesus a crafts-
man, transmitting his own professional skill to him. So the neighbors of Naza-
reth will call Jesus both “faber” and “fabri filius”: the craftsman and the son of the
craftsman” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 55). This message of the Gos-
pel reminds us that our vocation to work is not marginal to God’s plans.

“The truth that by means of work man participates in the activity of God Himself,
his Creator, was ‘given particular prominence by Jesus Christ’ — the Jesus at
whom many of His first listeners in Nazareth ‘were astonished, saying, “Where
did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to Him?... Is not this the car-
penter?’” (Mark 6:23). For Jesus not only proclaimed but first and foremost ful-
filled by His deeds the ‘Gospel’, the word of eternal Wisdom, that had been en-
trusted to Him. Therefore this was also ‘the gospel of work’, because ‘He who
proclaimed it was Himself a man of work’, a craftsman like Joseph of Nazareth
(cf. Matthew 13:55). And if we do not find in His words a special command to
work — but rather on one occasion a prohibition against too much anxiety about
work and life — (Matthew 6:25-34)—at the same time the eloquence of the life of
Christ is unequivocal: He belongs to the ‘working world’, He has appreciation and
respect for human work. It can indeed be said the ‘He looks with love upon hu-
man work’ and the different forms that it takes, seeing in each one of these forms
a particular facet of man’s likeness with God, the Creator and Father” (Bl. John
Paul II, “Laborem Exercens”, 26).

St. Mark mentions by name a number of brothers of Jesus, and refers in general
to His sisters. But the word “brother” does not necessarily mean son of the same
parents. It can also indicate other degrees of relationship—cousins, nephews, etc.
Thus in Genesis 13:8 and 14:14 and 16 Lot is called the brother of Abraham (tran-
slated as “kinsman” in RSV), whereas we know that he was Abraham’s nephew,
the son of Abraham’s brother Haran. The same is true of Laban, who is called the
brother of Jacob (Genesis 29:15) although he was his mother’s brother (Genesis
29:15); there are other instances: cf. 1 Chronicles 23:21-22, etc. This confusion
is due to the poverty of Hebrew and Aramaic language: in the absence of distinct
terms, the same word, brother, is used to designate different degrees of relation-
ship.

From other Gospel passages we know that James and Joses, who are mentioned
here, were sons of Mary of Clophas (John 19:25). We know less about Judas and
Simon: it seems that they are the Apostles Simon the Cananaean (Matthew 10:4)
and Judas the son of James (Luke 6:16), the author of the Catholic Epistle, in
which he describes himself as “brother” of James. In any event, although James,
Simon and Judas are referred to as brothers of Jesus, it is nowhere said they
were “sons of Mary” — which would have been the natural thing if they had been
our Lord’s brothers in the strict sense. Jesus always appears as an only son: to
the people of Nazareth, He is “the son of Mary” (Matthew 13:55). When He was
dying Jesus entrusted His mother to St. John (cf. John 19:26-27), which shows
that Mary had no other children. To this is added the constant belief of the Church,
which regards Mary as the ever-virgin: “a perfect virgin before, while, and forever
after she gave birth” (Paul IV, “Cum Quorumdam”).

5-6. Jesus worked no miracles here: not because He was unable to do so, but as
punishment for the unbelief of the townspeople. God wants man to use the grace
offered him, so that, by cooperating with grace, he become disposed to receive
further graces. As St. Augustine neatly puts it, “He who made you without your
own self, will not justify you without yourself” (”Sermon” 169).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 02/05/2013 8:17:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading Hebrews 12:4-7,11-15 ©
In the fight against sin, you have not yet had to keep fighting to the point of death.
  Have you forgotten that encouraging text in which you are addressed as sons? My son, when the Lord corrects you, do not treat it lightly; but do not get discouraged when he reprimands you. For the Lord trains the ones that he loves and he punishes all those that he acknowledges as his sons. Suffering is part of your training; God is treating you as his sons. Has there ever been any son whose father did not train him? Of course, any punishment is most painful at the time, and far from pleasant; but later, in those on whom it has been used, it bears fruit in peace and goodness. So hold up your limp arms and steady your trembling knees and smooth out the path you tread; then the injured limb will not be wrenched, it will grow strong again.
  Always be wanting peace with all people, and the holiness without which no one can ever see the Lord. Be careful that no one is deprived of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness should begin to grow and make trouble; this can poison a whole community.

Psalm Psalm 102:1-2,13-14,17-18 ©
The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
  and never forget all his blessings.
The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear.
As a father has compassion on his sons,
  the Lord has pity on those who fear him;
for he knows of what we are made,
  he remembers that we are dust.
The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear.
But the love of the Lord is everlasting
  upon those who hold him in fear;
his justice reaches out to children’s children
  when they keep his covenant in truth.
The love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear.

Gospel Acclamation Mt4:4
Alleluia, alleluia!
Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Alleluia!
Or Jn10:27
Alleluia, alleluia!
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice,
says the Lord,
I know them and they follow me.
Alleluia!

Gospel Mark 6:1-6 ©
Jesus went to his home town and his disciples accompanied him. With the coming of the sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, ‘Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him? This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?’ And they would not accept him. And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house’; and he could work no miracle there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

6 posted on 02/05/2013 8:29:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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