Wonders in Our Native Place: Comments on Mark 6: 1-6
Reflection by Eric Hollas, OSB
[First appeared in Give Us this Day, a monthly published by The Liturgical Press, February 2015]
It would be nice to know when Jesus left home and moved to another town. Better still, it would be wonderful to know why. But move he did, and in some place other than Nazareth Jesus continued to grow in age and wisdom. So much had he matured, that when he returned to his native place, his former neighbors scarcely recognized him.
Still, the people of Nazareth remembered Jesus from the mental snapshot they’d taken years earlier. Because they recalled him as he had been, they couldn’t open themselves to the person he’d become. Small wonder that Jesus could do no wonders there.
Before we fault the people of Nazareth, it’s good to realize that we do the same to one another. Because we’ve known people for years, we sometimes fail to notice that they change. We can be blind to the talents that have been dormant within them and be oblivious to the growth that comes in response to challenge.
We do this to ourselves as well. Fearful of failure, we’re reluctant to venture far from our comfort zone. Fearful of change, we’re content to stay the same.
Instinctively we sometimes respond to God in that way; but the good news is that Jesus never gives up on us. Unlike his rare visits to Nazareth, Jesus calls on us frequently. He comes determined to work wonders in us, whether we’re ready or not. If we but open our hearts, Jesus will work the wonders in us that he couldn’t seem to do in Nazareth.