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Ez 2,2:5; 2 Cor 12:7-10; Mk 6:1-6

He departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. 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. He went around to the villages in the vicinity teaching. Mk 6:1-6

Because his hometown neighbors and friends thought they knew all about Jesus, they did not expect greatness from him. Their lack of faith proved an obstacle; they found Jesus “too much for them.” In other words, Jesus did not fit into their stereotypical mold of the “boy next door and son of the carpenter.” Since they knew where he lived and who his family was, they also thought they knew what he could accomplish and who he would become. As a result of their myopia, Jesus “could work no miracle” among them.

Ezekiel faced similar rejection when he was empowered by the Spirit to minister to his rebellious contemporaries (first reading). Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians (second reading), reminds us of the conundrum which is Christian discipleship, that it is precisely through weakness, distress and persecution that the power and grace of God find their fullest expression. Therefore, rather than label and limit, or overlook and deny, what we perceive as a weakness or a lack of promise and potential in another, we would do well to remember that the very people who are “too much for us” are the special venue for God’s special surprises.

Who are the prophets that inspire us today? Will we recognize them when they come, when they disturb our little worlds and ask us to do things outside our comfort zone. Remember Paul’s words: “My grace is sufficient for you.” My grace is enough for you.

By Pat Sánchez

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