14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ezekiel 2:2-5 II:
1 He went away from there and came to his own country; and his disciples followed
2 And on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him
were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given
to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands!
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas
and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
4 And Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country,
and among his own kin, and in his own house."
5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick
people and healed them.
6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages
- This passage concludes Jesus' period of teaching (chapter 4) and healing
(chapter 5) in his hometown of Nazareth. Regardless of Jesus' powerful
words and deeds, people in his hometown had multiple reasons to dislike
- People in this small village worked hard at their trade to survive,
and thought that everyone should do likewise. Jesus, a carpenter, should
just do his carpentry. Instead, he went about preaching and healing. Thus his
townfolks consider him pretentious.
- Even if Jesus did his carpentry, he would not be honored either.
Craftsmen in such small towns have to travel to find enough work. Traveling means
leaving the women alone, which is not an honorable thing. Jesus must
have been such a lowly traveling carpenter.
- Another sign of dishonor and insult was that Jesus was identified as
the son of a woman, "son of Mary," instead of a man, like "son of Joseph." This
implies a doubt as to who the father was.
- Prophets are spokesmen for God, with two main methods: criticizing
and energizing. They are also seers, and sometimes act out their message.
There were female prophets, such as Miriam (in Exod 15) and Deborah (Judg 4).
One Main Point
Jesus, the teacher and miracle worker, is misunderstood and rejected by
his own people.
- Who have been the prophets to me, speaking the words of God? Did I
misunderstand and reject the prophets? What do God say to me through
the prophets? How do I respond?
- Through the sacrements of baptism and confirmation, we are also
annointed to be prophets. What evil do we see and criticize in our own world? What
hope do we see and encourage people with? Are we ready to be misunderstood
and rejected by our own folks, like Jesus?
Enter Reader's Response or
View Reader's Response this week
A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community