Your merciful love, O God, we have received…
[Ent. Ant. (Psalm 47:10)]
Today’s readings share a similar theme.
In the First Reading, Ezekiel the prophet is sent to tell the Jews in exile in Babylon that worse was coming (the further destruction of Jerusalem), even though other prophets were painting a rosy picture. For his troubles, he faces the rejection of the people of Israel.
Paul the apostle (Second Reading) is dealing with his own struggles, as his authority is challenged by some in the church in Corinth. So he presents his credentials, including some supernatural visions he had, but balances these by disclosing something of the weaknesses that keep him humble.
One of the major themes of Mark the evangelist is how Jesus is misunderstood. Today’s Gospel is an account of how Jesus’ kinsfolk rejected him because he, seemingly, lacked credentials. Because they think they know everything there is to know about him, they are not open to Jesus’ message.
Let us pray this week that, in our achievement-driven world, we remember that God doesn’t seek credentials, nor achievements, nor even perfection; only love, trust and faith. All we are asked is to be faithful (‘our eyes always on the Lord’ – Psalm), safe in the knowledge that God is ever close, offering us grace that is always sufficient.