Pastor’s Homily — 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I think we all know someone who has an opinion and judgment about everything in the world:  politics, sports, science and more.  Maybe we spent time with someone like that this holiday weekend.  And usually there is some cynicism and negativity and self-righteousness with the person.  Perhaps, a toxicity.  And we react by getting defensive and frustrated.

In the Gospel for today, even though Jesus had just performed miracles and delivered brilliant wisdom teachings in the parables, the people in his hometown thought they knew better, thought they knew everything about him.  They had no faith, they focused on what was familiar and they ignored the mystery.  To them, Jesus was “only” the carpenter’s son. Period. The result was toxic negativity; Jesus was not able to do great things there.

The lesson for us is that we cannot allow our relationship with God to become too familiar, too easy.  We have to enter the mystery.  This is the great value of contemplative prayer, for example.  When we sit in silence, we become aware, we do not judge, and little by little we are more open to mystery, we have more faith.

On this Independence Day weekend in the United States, let us declare our independence from the need to judge everything.  God is always calling.   Let us say “Yes” to wonder and mystery, and “no” to the easy judgments and opinions.

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