Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
(Hebrews 12:4-7.11-15; Mark 6:1-6)
One of the leading preaching theorists in the United States advised not using personal anecdotes in homilies. His reason for the counter-intuitive message was that listeners will key into what the preacher says about himself or herself and bypass what he or she is saying about the Lord. It is a controversial stand, but Jesus’ experience in today’s gospel offers some confirmation.
The people of Nazareth are amazed with what Jesus is saying. Knowing he shares their background, they cannot believe that God has called him to speak in His name. Rather than heed his call to repent, they dismiss him as a local yokel with no more insight into truth than they have.
After listening to the gospel for years, we too may become unmoved by its promises and dismissive of its demands. We may come to church more out of habit than of conviction that here we meet our salvation. It’s time to be shaken from this encrustation. It’s a welcoming thought that Lent is just two weeks away.