14th Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 4, 2021

14B21.       Ezekiel 2:2-5.     God said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, rebels who have rebelled against me.” “Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you.”  They were locked into their way of thinking and feeling.  How natural it is for humans to become self-complacent and self-indulgent, and to make that our normal way of being.  We can easily think, ‘I know what I think and who I am,’ and that’s that.  So many say to God: “I feel right at home with the way I am.  Go away and do not disturb me by demanding that I change what feels so comfortable and right for me.” We do not want to trade what feels so normal and comfortable for something else.

Mark 6:1-6a.    Jesus returns to Nazareth but with his disciples, which is to say he is a wholly different person than the boy those towns people knew when he left there.  The people of Jesus’ hometown were astounded at the change and refused to accept that he was so different than the boy and young adult they knew for so many years.  “Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary?”  “Where did this man get all this?”  For them, he was asking too much of them to accept him to be so much more than what they had so long  thought of him to be.  “And they took offense at him.”  “So he was not able to perform any mighty deed (miracle) there.”  Jesus performed miracles to enable and lead people to believe in him as the Messiah or Savior.  When they locked the door against belief in him as Messiah, performing miracles made no sense because they refused to believe in him no matter what he did.  “He was amazed at their lack of faith,” their obstinance of heart.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10.  Apparently Paul had an affliction, which he does not name, that he “begged the Lord about,” “that it might leave.”  However, the Lord responded, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”  In other words, the Lord was saying to Paul, ‘Your weakness invites me and enables me to be your strength.’  And so Paul writes: “For when I am weak, then I am strong,” because I am strong by the Lord’s strength and not my own useless attempt at self-sufficiency.  Our weakness leaves us open to replace our weakness with God’s strength. We live from what God supplies.