July 9

Misjudging Others

July 9 * Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary? Mark 6:3

Not only a geographical location, "Nazareth" is a symbol of narrow-mindedness. Those who would have known Jesus best-friends, neighbors, even familywere among the people who could not accept him because he did not fit into their framework of reality. "What can a carpenter know about God?" they said to themselves. "What right has he to preach with authority?" No doubt the hostile crowds were filled with familiar faces-the local rabbi, perhaps, several cousins, people who lived next door, farmers and artisans. Instead of being delighted that one of their own was so clearly spiritually gifted, they saw only nonconformity, possible heresy and the dangerous tendency to speak what no one wanted to hear. As Mark sums it up, "And they took offense at him."

The village's myopia challenges us to examine the lenses with which we view others. All too often, we judge others by what we already know about themor what we think we know. So much of our knowing is actually projection rather than fact; we form opinions based on bias and hold this to be "truth." At whom do we take offense-and why?

Help us to see as you see, 0 God.

Elizabeth-Anne Stewart

Ezekiel 2:2-5 0 Psalm 123:1-4 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 0 Mark 6:1-6