Lectio Divina 2021-07-02

Our Lectio Divina for this Friday focussed on the readings for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B.

Mk 6:1-6 A prophet is only despised in his own country.

One

In my journey as a Christian I believe that God has encouraged me to look at my shadow side. Not always easy but necessary for my relationship with God to grow. He loves and accepts all of me and he wants me to do the same. When I can accept myself it is easier to love and accept others. A good indicator that there is something I need to pray about is when I react in a negative way to others and I become critical and judgemental of them. Often my reaction is covering up something I am unable to look at in myself.

The people in the synagogue had a strong reaction to Jesus when he returned home and started preaching. Were they afraid, jealous, envious? Instead of celebrating what he was becoming and the gifts he had been given they rejected one of their own. They were unable to see beyond their own prejudices and hear his message. Instead they judged him the way they judged his family and I hear echoes of the question ‘Who does he think he is?’

Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith. Is he sometimes amazed at mine? Do I let fear take charge and silence his voice? Instead of lifting others up do I sometimes try to tear them down?
This passage is a reminder that my negative reaction to a situation is an opportunity for my relationship with God to grow.

Dear Lord, today, help me to be honest open and willing with you. When I am tempted to be indifferent or cold hearted open my heart to compassion and help me to see others through your eyes.

‘As we grow in compassion for the places within which challenge us, we are able to extend that compassion toward others. The more we grow intimate with our own places of weakness or unlived longings, the more we can accept these in others.’

Christine Valters Paintner – St Benedict’s Rule

Two

Greetings in the name of Jesus to you all.

Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son?
Isn’t it amazing how we judge a book by its cover!!

Familiarity also blinds us from seeing people’s potential because we judge by what we see.
We always forget that there is a lot more to a person than what is ordinarily obvious.

It is God who made us and He made us in His own image and His likeness for a purpose but we judge because we do not know and it is not within the limit of our understanding. This is why God says we should not judge or we too will be judged in the same way (Matt7: 1).

Jesus also said” Only in his own town, in his own house among his relatives is a prophet without honour.

I find this to be very true; no matter what I may be at work and whatever authority I may have elsewhere, when I am at home I am only seen as “mother” or “wife” or ,”sister” or “aunty” or “grandma” and my functions are expected to be within those confines. I will be given a title according to what I am expected to be at home…. and trusted on those lines only…. and not according to what I am professionally. It will be unusual to be given honour for anything else.

Hence the difficulty in helping children or even relatives until they experience their own experiences.

They have to walk the walk as we all do/did, not listening to or believing our own “prophet”.
I noticed Jesus did not force anyone but went about doing His business.

I therefore pray that I will be more like Jesus, to love God and to love my neighbours enough to give them the freedom of choice. To pray that we will all be led by the Holy Spirit to love mercy, do justly and to walk humbly before our God.

Amen.

All the best to everyone. God bless.

Three

“…amazed by their lack of faith”

I have seen many miracles and experienced them in my own life. I know there would be more if I had a different calibre of faith, if I could “get over myself”.

It is mainly myself who is amazed at my lack of faith. It is not really a lack of faith for physical miracles but a dark niggle that arises at times from the shadows that the everyday promises of God are not for me. Because I love him, when I see this lack of faith I am confused and hurt. It hurts him, too, but he is patient and knows we have a lot more work to do together.

Others, seeing my obvious shortcomings in truly believing are also amazed, no doubt, and probably see as hypocrisy anything I want to tell them of God’s love and power and the beauty of following Jesus. This I have to surrender and leave in God’s hands as I take up the cross daily and try to follow him.

God bless each of you in all your present circumstances.

Four

My words today were: ‘…they would not accept him’ and ‘Jesus amazed at their lack of faith’
I did ask a few times in Children’s Liturgy, to put a hand up whoever did feel rejected, not accepted at any point in their (short) lives. More or less, starting by the oldest, every one put a hand up. I did it too.

I remember my mum-in-law, who was a Londoner, referring how awful was for her when she moved from London to Yorkshire after being married. She was rejected for being different. For me, it is my accent, I am a foreigner, I look different too I guess. And these days my crime is that I am a Catholic too. Which wouldn’t surprise me, when some colleagues of my husband rejected his wedding invitation, just because I was a Catholic.

Rejection is more frequent that we may believe. Some people reject others because they are different, they may have different ideas, different faiths, different traditions, come from a different place, or just because have not the same accent or colour of skin.

Many Christians have given and are given their lives daily in this world, persecuted, killed, for being Christians.

But, I think, if the world rejected the Master, how is going to tolerate His disciples?
This world rejects God, and all that comes from God, ‘it is not politically correct’, ‘we are out fashioned’, ‘this is from other era’. Secularization reigns.

Everybody is free to choose. But wherever is not faith, God can not act.

Nevertheless, I wonder how much part on it we have, I never understood well ‘sheepish’ behaviour, we have too a duty to say NO, to everything that goes against God, to not tolerate whatever the society wants us to admit. The greatest success of the Devil is making us believe that doesn’t exist. But this is the way to perdition, to loose our souls, we can’t serve to masters. We have to proclaim the wonders of God to this sceptical and disbelieving world.

I pray for Faith for all of us, for bravery to stand up against all that is not from God, in your Immense Mercy and Compassion Lord, forgive us O Lord all these moments when fear block us, our lack of faith. Mercy Lord for this world who needs you so desperately and can not see it.

Let’s keep looking to the Lord our God for His Mercy. (cf. Ps 123). In Jesus Christ I pray.