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February 6, 2019 Featured

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book PNG2112Gospel: Mark 6:1-6
Leaving that place, Jesus returned to his own country, and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and most of those who heard him were astonished. But they said, “How did this come to him? What kind of wisdom has been given to him, that he also performs such miracles? Who is he but the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here among us?” So they took offense at him.And Jesus said to them, “Prophets are despised only in their own country, among their relatives, and in their own family.” And he could work no miracles there, but only healed a few sick people, by laying his hands on them. Jesus himself was astounded at their unbelief.

Reflections
“How did this come to him?"

This story is a reminder that Jesus, for most of his life, lived a hidden life among his poor neighbors. He was simply “the carpenter,” the son of Mary, with no apparent gifts or qualities to set him apart from his various kin. Blessed Charles de Foucauld (d. 1916), who spent some years living in the Holy Land, was so impressed with this fact that he conceived of a new form of reli­gious life modeled precisely on this “hidden life” of Jesus, offering a silent witness to God’s love among his poor neighbors. We do not need to join the Little Brothers, nor do we need to move to the Holy Land, to live as Jesus did among his neigh­bors. Nazareth is wherever we are. But we can be a presence of God’s love in the space in which we find ourselves. And what about the children of God we encounter everyday in the form of our neighbors: the carpenter, the auto mechanic, the janitor? How many saints walk among us—unseen, unre­cognized, yet bearing witness to God’s love and mercy? If only we had eyes to see.

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