Mk 6: 1-6
He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Healing even amidst hardened hearts
It is difficult for me to have faith in my native land of the United States right now. When we preach to our fellow Americans about justice, reconciliation, mercy, and love, we are met with more signs of injustice, more division, more judgement, and further isolation into individualism. We are familiar with Jesus’ claim that a prophet can never be honored in his hometown. That fact can break our hearts, just as Jesus was hurt by his hometown’s lack of faith. Yet, as we celebrate this Independence Day of our hurting country, may we know that even in that pain, there is still some healing. Jesus still healed a few in Nazareth, even if many hearts were hardened. Let us take courage that Jesus will continue to heal in our country so in need of it, even if it seems that no one is listening.
—Alex Hale, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic from the Midwest Province studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.
Father of all nations and ages, we recall the day when our country claimed its place among the family of nations; for what has been achieved we give you thanks, for the work that still remains we ask your help, and as you have called us from many peoples to be one nation, grant that, under your providence, our country may share your blessings with all the peoples of the earth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
—Collect prayer for Independence Day Mass