Reflection: Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Ez.2:2-5; Ps.122; 2nd Reading – 2Cor.12:7-10; Gospel – Mk.6:1-6]


Curiously, Mark’s gospel today presents a certain similarity of “surprise” between those who were listening to Jesus and were “astonished” on seeing (and hearing of) his wonders and Jesus himself who was “amazed” at their lack of faith. Mark’s gospel contains other “curiosities”:

Firstly, who were these “brothers and sisters of Jesus” mentioned here?

Unless it is proved otherwise, we know that Jesus had no other brothers and sisters! In a Semitic culture, like that of Jesus’, different families (usually related to each other) typically lived in the same building and was quite common for the children of these different families to grow up together and so to be considered as “brothers and sisters” (especially if they are cousins). Even today, some cultures still use this form of address even when in fact there is no relationship at all!!!

And secondly, these people “who were astonished” when they heard Jesus – who were they? His disciples? People who were simply in the synagogue at the time?

Whoever they might be, it seems that they knew Jesus well. They noticed He was an extraordinary man. They knew about his trade, his family, his “brothers” and his “sisters”… But even though they noticed his wisdom and the miracles that were worked through him, they remained only on what their senses could perceive about him without trying to answer the questions that they themselves asked. It was natural for them to not understand who He really was! And therefore it was natural for them to not accept Him.

But they did nothing to understand Him better. What amazed Jesus was that they were ready to ask the questions … but not so ready to reflect on their own questions and thus derive the answers that might have been a logical consequence of what they were seeing and experiencing. They were seeing these extraordinary things, but were not ready to do the leap of faith and accept Him. They were not ready to believe. Jesus’ comment about being despised and not accepted in his own country referred directly to these people who were from his country, knew quite a lot about Him, but did not know him enough to even accept Him as a Prophet, let alone the Son of God!

How many times in our own lives have we convinced ourselves that we know Jesus because we read something about him, or heard about Him especially during Mass … and maybe even commented about His life … But can we say that we really know Jesus? Have we ever stopped to reflect about who Jesus truly is? Have we ever imagined what relationship He wants to create with us and what relationship can we create with Him? Do we really want to know Jesus better?  And what are we doing to get to know Him better so as to create a relationship with Him?

Lord, give us the humility we need to admit that we do not really know You and therefore we have not yet fully accepted You in our lives. Help us create this relationship with You and so recognise You for what You truly are – the one sent by the Father to show us His love! Thank You Lord!”


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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