Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. II Tim. 2:3
I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Isa. 55:4
It became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Heb. 2:10
We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God. Eph. 6:12, 13
We do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.) II Cor. 10:3, 4
The God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. I Pet. 5:10
The unity of the Spirit. Eph. 4:3
There is one body, and one Spirit. Eph. 4:4
Through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Eph. 2:18-22
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments. Psa. 133:1, 2
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently. I Pet. 1:22
And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith. Matthew 13:58
What are “mighty deeds?” What was Jesus limited in doing in His hometown because of a lack of faith? The first thing that obviously comes to mind are miracles. He most likely did not do many healings, or raise anyone from the dead, or multiply food so as to feed the multitude. But are these the mighty deeds described?
The right answer would be both “Yes” and “No.” Yes, Jesus was limited in doing miracles and it appears He did very few in His hometown. But there were deeds that Jesus regularly did that were far more “mighty” than physical miracles. What are those? They were the deeds of transforming souls.
What does it matter, in the end, if Jesus does many miracles but souls are not converted? What is more “mighty” as far as lasting and meaningful action? Certainly the transformation of souls is of the highest of importance!
But sadly, the mighty deeds of the transformation of souls could not take place either, due to their lack of faith. The people were clearly obstinate and not open to letting the words and presence of Jesus penetrate their minds and hearts. For that reason, Jesus could not do the mightiest of deeds in His hometown.
Reflect, today, on whether or not Jesus is doing mighty deeds in your life. Are you letting Him transform you daily into a new creation? Are you letting Him do great things in your life? If you hesitate in answering this question, it is a clear sign that God wants to do much more in your life.
Lord, I pray that my soul be fertile ground for Your most magnificent work. I pray that my soul be transformed by You, Your words and Your presence in my life. Come into my heart and transform me into Your masterpiece of grace. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day – Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
Source of content: mycatholic.life
GOSPEL READING: Matthew 13:54-58
54 and coming to his own country he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.
Meditation: Are you critical towards others, especially those who are close to you? The most severe critics are often people very familiar to us, a member of our family, a relative, neighbor, student, or worker we rub shoulders with on a regular basis. Jesus faced a severe testing when he returned to his home town, not simply as the carpenter’s son, but now as a rabbi with disciples. It would have been customary for Jesus to go to the synagogue each week during the Sabbath, and when his turn came, to read from the scriptures during the Sabbath service. His hometown folks listened with rapt attention on this occasion because they had heard about the miracles he had performed in other towns.
What sign would he do in his hometown? Jesus startled them with a seeming rebuke that no prophet or servant of God can receive honor among his own people. The people of Nazareth took offense at him and refused to listen to what he had to say. They despised his preaching because he was a carpenter from the working class, and a mere layman untrained by religious scholars. They also despised him because of his family background. After all, Joseph was a tradesman as well and Mary had no special social distinctions.
Familiarity breeds contempt
How easily familiarity breeds contempt. Jesus could do no mighty works in his hometown because the people who were familiar with him were closed-minded and despised his claim to speak and act in the name of God. If people come together to hate and refuse to understand others different than themselves, then they will see no other point of view than their own and they will refuse to love and accept others. How do you view those who are familiar to you? With kindness and respect or with a critical and judgmental spirit?
The Lord Jesus offers us freedom from sin, prejudice, contempt, and fear. His love and grace sets us free to love others with the same grace and mercy which he has shown to us. Only Jesus can truly set us free from the worst tyranny possible – slavery to sin and the fear of death. His victory on the cross brings us pardon and healing, and the grace to live holy lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. Do you know the joy and freedom which Christ’s love brings to our hearts?
Psalm 81:1-5, 9-10a
1 Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob!
2 Raise a song, sound the timbrel, the sweet lyre with the harp.
3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.
4 For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5 He made it a decree in Joseph, when he went out over the land of Egypt.
9 There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10 I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: Few miracles done because of their unbelief, by Origen of Alexandria (185-254 AD)
“It seems to me that the production of miracles is similar in some ways to the case of physical things. Cultivation is not sufficient to produce a harvest of fruits unless the soil, or rather the atmosphere, cooperates to this end. And the atmosphere of itself is not sufficient to produce a harvest without cultivation. The one who providentially orders creation did not design things to spring up from the earth without cultivation. Only in the first instance did he do so when he said, ‘Let the earth bring forth vegetation, with the seed sowing according to its kind and according to its likeness’ (Genesis 1:11). It is just this way in regard to the production of miracles. The complete work resulting in a healing is not displayed without those being healed exercising faith. Faith, of whatever quality it might be, does not produce a healing without divine power.’ (excerpt from the COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 10.19)