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Arise and Shine (Mark 6:1-6)

“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” Mark 6:4

I am the youngest child in my family. No matter how old I may get, I will always be the youngest. I could write a book that becomes a bestseller or get a doctorate, and I would still be the kid sister who had milk come out her nose at the dinner table when I was 8-years old. So I can relate to Jesus in this Sunday’s Gospel.

Jesus has been traveling for over a year healing, preaching, bringing the dead to life, creating some “choice wine”, and casting out demons. He returns home for a break, to check in on his aging mom, and probably get a home cooked meal and decides to stop by the synagogue. There he sees some of his father and mother’s friends and neighbors who watched him grow up. Instead of looking to Jesus and being proud of the man He had become, they are offended and question His wisdom. In their eyes, He is an uneducated carpenter, just like Joseph, and He could never be anything more.

It says in Mark 6:6, that Christ was unable to perform any mighty deeds apart from curing a few sick people because of their lack of faith. How unfortunate that the gifts only He can give them, they don’t accept because of their hardness of heart and blindness to see who He is and always has been.

But we are not that different from Christ’s childhood community. How often do we reject Christ because we don’t see Him for the Savior He is? Sometimes we don’t see the modern prophets before us in a family member because of age or lifestyle, a teen you serve, your pastor because he upset you during a staff meeting, or a Core Member because they are speaking truth you don’t want to hear. We simply don’t hear God’s voice because we either reject the messenger because of the message, or we question the message because we don’t like the messenger.

This resistance to truth and the Word of God is not new at all! Since the Old Testament prophets such as Ezekiel in the first reading today, to the New Testament prophets such as John the Baptist, we have been a “rebellious house”. We can choose to heed or resist the prophets among us (Ez 2:5). You would think that a message proclaiming love, mercy, forgiveness, and freedom would be welcomed with open arms. Instead, we are greeting with cries of hypocrisy, hatred, violence, and hostility.

Great Saints died proclaiming the truth. We, simply by our Baptismal call, are called to do the same as priests, prophets, and kings (CCC 783). A Priest who is willing to lay down his or her life and sacrifice for the Bride, the Church. A Prophet who will defend truth, freedom, and the right of every male and female to life, love and pursuit of happiness from the womb to the tomb with dignity, mercy, and respect. A King who will speak on behalf of God’s Kingdom and does not remain silent when the world tries to silence us.

We will face resistance like Christ did in the Gospel (Mk 6:1-6) and Ezekiel faced in the first reading (Ez. 2:2-5), but we will be in good company with Mary, the martyrs and the Saints in heaven. St. Paul in the second reading even shares how “a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.” (2 Cor. 12:7) Resistance and persecution are to be expected. We will not be silenced! We must remember that His “grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)

About the Author

Tricia Tembreull

Tricia Tembreull is a California girl with a Texas-size heart for hospitality. She said yes over twenty years ago to God’s call to youth ministry and never could’ve imagined the adventures and people He had planned for her to encounter along the way. She serves as a Parish Coach for Life Teen and joyfully travels around the globe training, empowering, and praying with youth ministers. When not on a plane, you can find Tricia in a church, spending time with family and friends, in the kitchen cooking up something delightful, or on the beach for an evening walk.