Today we open up Chapter 6 of St Mark’s Gospel. The story we read today is, in fact, depicting the events that occurred immediately before Christ’s journey from Galilee to Jerusalem. Before He leaves, according to St Mark, He visits his home town of Nazareth. He was probably there to say farewell to Mary and Joseph the local carpenter.
While he is in his home town, he is invited to say a few parting words in the local synagogue. The local people were astonished when they heard him speak with such wisdom and insight. They had never heard a local person being so insightful about the nature of God.
His fellow citizens rejected Jesus and his insightful opinions. After all, they had known him as a local boy, no different to every other lad in the village. Such wisdom from a local boy was too hard to accept.
Why is St Mark telling this story? It seems that the Gospel writer is endeavouring to remind us that familiarity can sometimes be a hindrance to a genuine acceptance of faith and a proper understanding of God’s mercy and unconditional love.
St Mark the author of this story is reminding us all that the reality of God is often hidden in the commonplace. God actually reveals his mercy and love in the place where we live.
Sometimes, because our lives seem reasonably ordinary, we miss the amazing ways that God reveals Himself in and among the people and everyday events we normally take for granted. The invitation today is to give thanks for all we presume to be “ordinary” because God often revels himself in very ordinary moments.