Stepping stones not stumbling blocks- Wednesday, 4th week in ordinary time- Mark 6: 1-6

Stepping stones not stumbling blocks- Wednesday, 4th week in ordinary time- Mark 6: 1-6

We move from belief to disbelief, and the fact that this disbelief comes from Jesus’ own hometown in Nazareth, makes this incident all the more shocking. But this brings to a close Mark’s collation of the rejection of Jesus in Galilee, a rejection that began in Chapter 3:7 and reaches a crescendo in 6:6.

Jesus moves from the western shore of Galilee, inland towards Nazareth, and here the rejection is personal. Rejection is always harder when it source is one’s own family. His own did not accept Him while strangers in Capernaum did!

Jesus comes to the synagogue in Nazareth and begins to teach. The initial reaction of being ‘astounded’ to such wisdom, gives way to more negative comments which are personal in nature. Unlike Jarius and the haemorrhaging woman, they can only see a face, not faith – they recognise a name, not His nature. One would never understand why the ‘son of the town’ who has such wisdom, would not be celebrated? But then again human beings are fickle!

The description of Jesus as the ‘son of Mary’ was more an insult than a desire to identify Him. Jews were customarily known by their father’s name; they should have called Him the ‘son of Joseph’. But it is their own thoughts that scandalize them (vs3). Interestingly the translation of ‘they took offense’ is ‘skandalon’ or in English scandal, whose roots reveal that a scandal is more a ’stumbling block’. It is not the words or the person of Jesus that cause His hometown folk to be scandalized, but their own thoughts that become a ‘stumbling block’ to His acceptance.

Perhaps we need to look at our own stumbling blocks, the coloured glasses that we look at people with. Often we glibly dismiss people for their colour, creed, and sexual orientations. We see their actions as a scandal, and so reject them. Remember the words of Pope Francis, “who am I to judge?” In doing so, we dehumanize a human person and fail to see the ‘prophet’ in them. We close our doors to them and our hearts to Jesus, reducing them all to mere ‘carpenters’.

Fr Warner D’Souza

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6 thoughts on “Stepping stones not stumbling blocks- Wednesday, 4th week in ordinary time- Mark 6: 1-6”

  • Nice reflection Father .

  • Dear Fr. Ur reflections are posted on many sites, which is really good, but I ponder on as u said “one still tends to judge others n their actions, rather than looking inward to oneself” here is where is the stumbling block that we all face.i pray that these reflections will not be just that but stepping stones to changes to all those who read these reflections n they become reflections of God’s love flowing upon all His people – GB bless Fr. n continue Ur beautiful reflections of Scripture…

  • Again I have read it and it is nice reflection Father.Rejection is not good especially when it is from our near one and it is written in Proverbs 16:2”All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives.”We are no one to judge ,Only God has every right to do it.

  • Pope Francis is Peter’s successor…if Pope Francis cannot see sexual orientation as a sin no wonder the problem persist…. Who am I to judge???? Judging a person is deep, and you have already explained about judging previously why contradict that now, I look up to your bible commentary a lot… Holy scriptures beautifully teach us the holy union of man and wife… Anything other than that is considered disobedience to god…god blessed the union of man and wife.. People of different sexual orientation should not be looked down upon but at the same time they need to be given a proper guidance….just by stating who am I to judge does not solve the problem…and with priest supporting this kind of statement by the pope dilutes the teaching of our lord and all that the bible stand for…
    My dear liberal priests don’t dilute your teachings so much that you end up making a mess of this world….teach the way the lord taught….guide the way he did…. I would never hesitate to tell the pope – how the heck can you speak like this when you were chosen to lead, the pachmama dolls were a glaring example of the fact that the pope too can faulter…. We have bruised our blessed Saviour enough…. Please stop making a prophet out of Homos and lesbians… You have been chosen to guide them, guide them well without rejecting them… Use your scriptural knowledge to pierce their hearts to help them realize their true identity in Christ not away from Christ!!!!

    An Apostle of Christ


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