Readings: Ezekiel 2: 2-5; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Mark 6: 1-6

By Deacon Gerald Jackson

Today is the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Season of the Church. On this day, God wants us to realize that He sends the weak and unattractive servants in the eyes of men to proclaim his saving word to all people. Indeed, God has his own way of looking at reality for the salvation of humanity, and such a reality is perceived as right and perfect.

In the first reading, God sends prophet Ezekiel to the rebellious and arrogant Israelites with a call for them to return to Him from their sinful ways. Bound by the covenant relationship they made with Him, Israelites were supposed to obey God’s commandments. However, despite their arrogance and resistance to listen to the divine message, that they even killed some of the prophets, God persistently takes initiative of calling them back to Him. Similarly, in the gospel, we see that Jesus is also being rejected among his native people at Nazareth.

Experience teaches, even more from a political point of view, that a person who contests in an election, always has more support at his home area than elsewhere, so much that he or she can easily amass all the votes there. But surprisingly today, Jesus is being rejected by his own people, which is also a prefiguration of his rejection that will take place in Jerusalem during his passion and death.

My brothers and sisters, most of the times, we are fond of judging others by appearance, forgetting that what we perceive may not necessarily give the true reflection of the reality, as an expression in Chichewa goes “maonekedwe apusitsa”. Experience has taught us that when a poor and uneducated person is cool and quiet, people consider that as foolishness, and nothing that he speaks is regarded as sensible. The same perception is true when such people attain positions of influence.

However, these qualities do not carry the same meaning when ascribed to wealthy and well known people.

However, my brothers and sisters, we have to understand today clearly that we should learn to respect everyone. From this assertion, it is better to listen with an open mind to what others are telling or advising us. This is so because in case of our spiritual life, through the power of the Holy Spirit, God is free to use anyone in order to proclaim His will to the whole world, God’s eyes are not men’s. When He wants to convey His message, He does not consider the appearances, background, or education level of a person. But rather, He purifies such a person in His own way and make him a worthy prophet in order to shame the proud and the wise.

This misunderstanding of God’s will basing on man’s limited judgement is the reason that made the Jews kill the prophets of God in the Old Testament. Such an attitude happens also to appear in the New Testament as they refuse to listen to Jesus who is the prophet par-excellence. They perceive him as completely an ordinary person who is even worse than them in status that led to his innocent death. Brothers and sisters, if we follow the same attitude towards various people who may come to preach to us, then we shall miss God’s blessings.

May we finally pray for the virtue of humility in order to accept the Word of God proclaimed by the unworthy chosen ministers of God, for the salvation of all souls. In addition, for those who are called in a special way to proclaim God’s Word to the whole world, let us be courageous and happy with our weaknesses as St. Paul the apostle in the second reading argues. In fact, through this limitation that the apostle experience in his preaching ministry, he at the same time informs us that we are strengthened and guided by God to fulfil the mission of God, which is the work that cannot be done by any human power.                

                                        A BLESSED SUNDAY TO YOU ALL!!!