Friday, August 2, 2013

“The best prophet of the future is the past.”

“Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those they have slain.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)

Gospel Text: (MT 13:54-58)
Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said,
“Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter’s son?
Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us?
Where did this man get all this?”
And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and in his own house.”
And he did not work many mighty deeds there
because of their lack of faith.

Today’s message tells us that Jesus wasn’t able to perform many miracles in his home town because of the people’s weak faith. The people couldn’t bring themselves to surrender to Jesus, even though he was right in front of them, offering them a way out—and a way up.

In our journey with the Lord, we too need to learn to surrender to Jesus as our good friend and as the Lord of all creation. This is an important element in the call to faith: to trust that Jesus knows what he’s doing and to believe that he is strong enough to save you. Yes, faith has to do with knowing the doctrines of the Church. Yes, it has to do with trying our best to follow the commandments and to care for the poor and needy. And yes, it has to do with sharing our beliefs and standing up for what is right in this world. But at the heart of faith is this call to surrender. Without this, all the other things are drained of their power.

What usually gets you stuck? Fear and panic over the future? Guilt or resentments from the past? A “logical” approach to the present that doesn’t leave room for grace or the supernatural? Whatever it is, know that Jesus is inviting you to something greater. Imagine him standing in front of you, his arms open wide. Hear him tell you, “Relax. I’ve got you. You can let go.”

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