Homilette for Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

(Hebrews 12:4-7.11-12; Mark 6:1-6)

A famous caricature has often appeared on the cover of The New Yorker magazine. It shows a divinely sophisticated man wearing a top hat and overcoat. Through a monocle the dandy is inspecting a common butterfly apparently marveling, “What a curious little creature!”

The people of Nazareth look at Jesus with the same incredulity in the gospel today. They treat him as a curiosity -- an insect of various stripes. For these people Jesus is only the son of Mary and the brother of Jimmy and Joe. They marvel at how he ever learned all that he teaches and betray no sense that he may be a prophet from God.

Even today many people view Jesus as if he were a butterfly. They say that he was a good man, but stop there. They either dismiss his marvelous deeds or bracket them as having no significance for their lives. Similarly they may admire but are reluctant to follow his wisdom. Those with such an attitude will have difficulty realizing the eternal life that Jesus promises.