Mark 6: 1-6

He left there and returned to his hometown. His disciples came along. On the Sabbath, he gave a lecture in the meeting place. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise all of a sudden, get such ability?”

But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “He’s just a carpenter – Mary’s boy. We’ve known him since he was a kid. We know his brothers, James, Justus, Jude, and Simon, and his sisters. Who does he think he is?” They tripped over what little they knew about him and fell, sprawling. And they never got any further.

Jesus told them, “A prophet has little honour in his hometown, among his relatives, on the streets he played in as a child.” Jesus wasn’t able to do much of anything there – he laid hands on a few sick people and healed them, that’s all. He couldn’t get over their stubbornness. He left and made a circuit of the other villages, teaching.

Gospel Reflection

“They took offence at him”. A more literal translation is:” They were scandalized by him”. The original Greek word is “scandalum” meaning a ‘stumbling block’. What is one person’s stumbling block can be another’s stepping stone.

St Mark tells us that Jesus “could do no good deed of power there”. Isn’t it extraordinary to think that there are situations where we can “tie God’s hands”. Holman Hunt’s famous painting in St Paul’s Cathedral, London has Jesus the Good Shepherd knocking on a door without a latch. He explained that the door of our heart can only be opened from the inside. With God there is no forcible entry. The decision to admit Him into our hearts is ours.