14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B


Today’s readings encourage us to trust in God’s grace, for God’s power is at its strongest even when we are at our most weak.

In the Gospel, Jesus has left Capernaum, the scene of many ‘mighty deeds,’ and headed for the home where he grew up. In Nazareth, there is a change of mood. His listeners are impressed by stories about him, but they can’t get over the fact that Jesus is one of their own, another worker, just like each of them, with sawdust in his hair and dirt under his fingernails.

The First Reading hints at the defiant and obstinate spirit of the townsfolk. Perhaps Jesus sees himself as Ezekiel’s ‘Son of man’ when he says in today’s Gospel that a prophet is despised in his own country. As Ezekiel writes, ‘Whether they listen or not, this set of rebels shall know that there is a prophet among them’.

The Second Reading encourages us to rely on God when things seem to be a struggle. St Paul, faced with failure and his own weakness, clearly heard from God that it was exactly through such weakness that God’s strength would be known.

The antidote to pride, scorn, and contempt is mercy and we receive it when we abandon ourselves to God. As ‘slave to the master’ or as ‘servant to the mistress’ (as the psalmist puts it), let’s keep our eyes firmly fixed on our Lord this week till he shows us his mercy.

Joy and peace.