Are we prepared to welcome Him?

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s Gospel is very different from the one we heard last week. Last week, Jesus praises for her faith, the woman who had been sick for twelve years. We also read about Jairus’ faith in Jesus. However, today Jesus is let down, he is astonished at the lack of faith shown by the people he was brought up with.

After spending time going around various villages, preaching and performing miracles, Jesus goes to his hometown. He meets his family and friends. Today’s Gospel refers to Jesus’ brothers and sisters. This detail should not confuse us. According to longstanding tradition, we believe that the Virgin Mary had no other children apart from Jesus. At that time, relatives, including cousins, nieces and nephews were referred to as brothers and sisters. 

For sure, the people of Nazareth, had heard about Jesus and his teachings and about the miracles he performed. However, they found it difficult to accept and believe that the young boy whom they had seen growing up, could change so much. They had never seen him taught by a Rabbi. From where could have he gained all that wisdom?

Two weeks ago, this same question was made by his disciples. Mark, wants his readers to ask this question to themselves. Mark is asking us this question, “who is Jesus for you?” Do I know Jesus, or do I only know about him? I know members of my family, I know their likes and dislikes, I love them. However, there are others like actors, singers, famous people, whom I know about, but I have no relationship with them. Today’s Gospel, invites us to get to know Jesus. It is never too late. This reminds us of a picture which at times does the rounds on social media. The picture portrays Jesus knocking on the door. There is no door knob, and the door may only be opened from the inside. Today, Jesus is knocking on our door, the choice is ours. If today, you do not feel that you can open the door, Jesus is not going to give up and leave. Jesus will remain behind that door, waiting for you to open it and get to know him. This is his promise, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13,5)

A reading from the Gospel of Mark (Mk 6, 1-6)

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.  When the Sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished.  They said, “Where did this man get all this?  What kind of wisdom has been given him?  What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!  Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon?  And are not his sisters here with us?”  And they took offense at him. 

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”  So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. The people of Nazareth had difficulty in accepting that the boy who grew up with them, had now become a wise man who could do things which were unexplainable. They could not accept that this person whom they all knew, could be the Messiah, whom they were longing for. Instead of accepting him and count themselves lucky for having known Jesus for such a long time, they take offense. God created man in his image, by virtue of baptism we belong to God’s family. The people of Nazareth did not recognise Jesus for who he was. When we look at others, do we see God in them? Do we find it difficult to accept others as being part of the family of God?
  4. Today Jesus says, “A prophet is not without honour except in his native place.” Can the word honour remind you of the fourth commandment, ‘honour your father and mother’? What should a person of honour be like? As a parent, are you someone whom your children can honour? If there are areas which you need to change, ask God to help you.
  5. Together with your family find the right time to read this gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare:
    i. The Bible reading from St Mark (6, 1-6);
    ii. A candle
    iii. Cover the table with a green clot
    vi. A computer/laptop with the reading and clips
  6. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested)
  7. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  8. Be creative 😊
  9. Go to the Prayer Corner section to continue praying as a family

Today, we are going to hear about a time, when Jesus became very sad. Listen carefully to the Gospel, because we are going to learn a number of things about Jesus. 

  • Jesus wants to be our friend
  • Jesus wants to teach us
  • Print today’s activity on craft paper
  • Colours and decorations
  • Scissors 

What did you learn about Jesus? (he went with his friends to his hometown – Nazareth; he was a carpenter; his mother was Mary; his relatives lived there too (in those days, they referred to relatives as brothers and sisters); Jesus was a teacher; he was wise; he did mighty things which people did not understand)

Did the people of Nazareth welcome Jesus and his teachings? (no, to them, Jesus was a carpenter, he was not a teacher, so they did not want to listen to him and learn)

Do you believe that Jesus can teach us? (yes, Jesus teaches us how to live and have joy in our hearts)

Did you ever want to do something, like for example, wash the plates, or go alone to the shop nearby, or water the plants, and you were not allowed to do so and told that you are still too young to do these things?

How did you feel when you were not allowed to do what you wanted, since you knew that had you been allowed, you would have been very careful?

This is how Jesus felt. Jesus was sad, because the people did not give him a chance to speak and to teach them.

Was there a time, when someone dear went abroad and when they returned you went to meet them at the airport? What a wonderful feeling to welcome them back!

Jesus did not go abroad, but he did not continue living in Nazareth. However, when he went back, the people did not welcome him, it was as if they were not happy to see him! It was as if they did not want to be his friends!

Do you want to be friends with Jesus? Do you want Jesus to be your friend? If Jesus came to knock on your bedroom door, what will you do?

Today’s activity, will remind us that we want to be friends with Jesus, that we love Jesus, and if he knocks on our door, we will welcome him and let him come in. So, today, you are going to colour a door hanger. You may also add glitters and stickers. Cut it out, with your parents’ help, and also cut along the dotted line. When ready, hang it on your bedroom door. Each time you see it, you will remember that you love Jesus, and every time you pray and read the Bible, you are inviting Jesus to your room.

It is really great to be Jesus’ friend! Whilst preparing the door hanger, listen to, I’ve got the joy.

Sign of the Cross

Dear Jesus, I want to be your friend. I want to know you better and I want to love you with all my heart. Amen.

Did someone ever tell you that they did not want to be friends, after you did something which was right or you said the truth, making them disagree with you? This is what happened to Jesus.

  • It could be that there are times that like Jesus, we make right choices, and others do not agree with us
  • Jesus speaks to us and teaches us in various way. However, like the people of Nazareth, we do not always accept that these messages are from Jesus, the Messiah
  • Printout of today’s activity, printed on craft paper
  • Colours

Today we heard how Jesus returned to Nazareth and the people, with whom he grew up, were surprised by what he said and did, and they rejected him. They could not understand how Jesus the carpenter, became a wise teacher and did mighty things, which they had never seen the likes of them before.

Have you ever seen a horse with blinkers? Because of the blinkers, the horse cannot see all that there is around him. Unfortunately, the people of Nazareth were also blinded in some way. They did not see the full picture. They continued to look upon Jesus, as the son of Mary and Joseph, they knew his relatives, and they knew that he was a carpenter. They had never seen him being taught by a Rabbi. When they heard Jesus teach with authority, they did not want to change their views about him. They could not accept that the Jesus they knew growing up with them in Nazareth, returned and was speaking like a wise Rabbi. They had also heard about his miracles, however, since they could not accept this change in Jesus, they could neither accept what he did. Like all the Jews, the people of Nazareth were waiting for the Messiah. Many expected the Messiah to be a powerful leader who would free them from the Romans, they did not expect someone like Jesus!

Do you remember last week’s Gospel? Jesus healed the woman who had been sick for twelve years and also woke up from the dead, the daughter of Jairus. Jesus did these miracles because the people had faith. In Nazareth, Jesus was sad, because the people did not believe, so he could not help them and teach them!

Do we always allow Jesus to talk to us and to teach us?

You know that Jesus talks to us through the Bible and through prayer. He tells us that he loves us and that he takes care of us. Jesus shows us his love and care, through others. For example, mummy washes our uniforms, daddy prepares meals, our brother plays with us, granny teaches us to pray, grandad shows us how to care for the plants and much more.

Today’s activity is for the whole family. You have a picture of a binoculars. Colour it and decorate it as you wish. When it is ready, put it on the fridge, or somewhere where you can see it while eating together. During the coming days, everyone shares with others, the moments in which they “saw” Jesus during the day. In this way, everyone helps others to increase their faith, and avoid being like the people of Nazareth, who saw Jesus but did not accept him as the Messiah who loved them and who wanted to save them.

Whilst colouring the binoculars, listen to, Love like Jesus.

Sign of the Cross.

Pray together, the Act of Faith:
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

1. According to today's Gospel, Jesus went to the synagogue in a particular place. In what town or village was the synagogue he went to?

Correct! Wrong!

2. As soon as they heard Jesus speak, the people who heard him were astonished and said ...

Correct! Wrong!

3. What did Jesus say to the locals he had visited?

Correct! Wrong!

4. Jesus could not perform any miracles in his country. Why did this thing happen?

Correct! Wrong!

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.