Saturday, 4 July 2009

Where did this man get all this? (Mk 6:1-6)

At the moment I am in the middle, or rather beginning, of a course which will last for another seven weeks, so my reflections will be a bit briefer, and I might just only throw out one of two idea's... but hopefully there will also be a short video with some ideas about the Dominican Life in the pipeline as a compensation :-).

First of all the Psalm (Ps 123:1-4) caught my attention. I guess this week was rather busy, and psalms always seem to catch me in those times, this time is was the first line "To thee I lift up my eyes, O thou who art enthroned in the heavens!" (Ps 123:1).

If we are running around and are trying to get everything done that has to be done we can rather feel a bit stretched, like to little butter on a piece of bread. The first thing that comes under pressure in my case are probably my prayers, as that just seem time that does not directly help towards fulfilling all the duties we have to do and it rather just seem to take a lot of time...

But it is exactly then, in busy times, that we need the time to recollect ourselves! It is very easy to "save" time by not spending time with God and to keep busy with what we are doing. But "saving" this time will only help on the short term, it only helps with what has to be done now. However, often we are running a marathon, not making a sprint, and we have to keep that in mind: "let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus" (Heb 12:1 RSV)

So especially when it is busy, I think it is very important to be "be constant in prayer" (Rom 12:12 RSV) and "to thee I lift up my eyes, O thou who art enthroned in the heavens!" (Ps 123:1)

The Gospel this week is from Mark 6:1-6, but first just a curios remark. My eye fell on two different options in the translation in the second reading: 2 Cor 12:7-10. St. Paul is saying that to prevent him from exalting himself he was given a thorn in the flesh. Whatever this exactly means we do not know, I usually read this as it is translated in the RSV as an "it"; when St. Paul asks "that it should leave me". I looked at it as a physical impediment, but maybe it is a person who is in his company and who humbles him, either in a positive or negative way. It could reference back to the "a thorn was given me in the flesh" (2Co 12:7 RSV), but also to "a messenger of Satan" (2Co 12:7 RSV), indicating a person.

Like I said just a remark, but I can just envision it actually being a person who is bothering St. Paul, and he prays that he will leave the company they are in, but the Lord refuses... it shows again that life for St. Paul was not some walk in the park, but an turmoil and roller coaster as most lives are. Here we can see that sometimes in our homes or working environments we might come across people who are really annoying us. It is sometimes much harder to deal with problems with people than any other inconveniences. But here we learn that maybe St. Paul had exactly to same situation, and we read in a way the little encouraging response "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2Co 12:7 RSV): Get on with it!

Now I shortly like to connect St. Paul being humbled with the Gospel, in which Jesus is rejected by the people in His native land. First of all, it is very humbling if you are very excited about something, for example God, and the people close to you do not seem to pay even the slightest interest in the matter. There is, I think, something of the same into this story of Jesus' going "home". As "many who heard him were astonished" (Mar 6:1 RSV) they still just see Him as He was when He was when He grew up among them and they wondered "Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands!" (Mar 6:1 RSV). They don't seem to realize what is actually happening around them, they see it, but cannot shake off the idea of Jesus being more than the little boy they knew, they cannot see the mystery that is enfolding before them.

This can be very difficult if we experience it, we can try to do all the best we can to convey our beliefs, but it seems like we are speaking to deaf mans ears. But then we just have to remember to always trust in God, and keep trying to be an good example, keep doing what we are doing, trusting God will work through us, even if in a hidden way. So in those situations, at home, at work or with close friends, we should keep uplifted and trust in God to work the apparent miracle that seems to be needed to open their hearts to His love.
(I know this was terrible!)


EddieL said...

Unfortunately the truth cannot wait. See Web Page in my blog!!

Em the luddite said...

Hey Luuk! I'm delighted to find you have a blog... I look forward to keeping up with it!

See you in class tomorrow!


The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


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