14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 5, 2015 – Year B
Readings: Ez 2:2-5 / Psalm 123 / 2 Cor 12:7-10 / Mk 6:1-6
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Not too long ago, Psychology Today Magazine published an article by Dr. Glenn Crosten, entitled “The Thing We Fear More Than Death.” In his article, Dr. Crosten explains that the reason we break into a sweat when we stand up in front of a group of people is that we are afraid of their rejection.
When we suffer rejection, or fear of not being accepted by others, we should remember that Jesus, our Lord, Savior, and God, was rejected by the people in His own town. In today’s Gospel, taken from Chapter 6 of the Gospel of St. Mark, we learn that many who heard Him teaching in the synogogue asked, “Where did this man get all this? Is he not a carpenter? The son of Mary?”
Despite feeling the rejection of His own people, St. Mark the Evangelist tells us that Our Lord still cured the sick people who were present. He was amazed by their lack of faith, yet He continued to love them unconditionally.
Jesus said to His disciples, “If they reject me, they will also reject you. But be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” So this is one kind of freedom we can celebrate with fireworks every single day: freedom from the fear of being rejected by others; freedom from seeking the approval or the good opinion of others.
The only thing that we have to fear is sin. Sin separates us from God. To be free from sin is to experience freedom in the most complete sense of the word. While we are in the State of Grace, everything in our lives will just fall into its proper place.
As St. Paul said, “If God is with us, who can be against us?”
In today’s second reading, taken from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us the real source of his strength and power to overcome, not only fear of rejection, but all sorts of fear. His message to the early Christians applies just as well to us, Christ’s followers in the 21st Century. St. Paul the Apostle says, “The Lord said to me: My Grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.“ And, “I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”