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"Lectio divina is an authentic source of Christian spirituality recommended by our Rule. We therefore practice it every day, so that we may develop a deep and genuine love for it, and so that we may grow in the surpassing knowledge of Christ. In this way we shall put into practice the Apostle Paul’s commandment, which is mentioned in our Rule: “Let the sword of the spirit, the Word of God, live abundantly in your mouth and in your hearts; and whatever you must do, do it in the name of the Lord.”

 Carmelite Constitutions (No. 82)

Lectio Divina: Mark 6,1-6

Lectio Divina: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
1) Opening prayer
Lord our God,
help us to love you with all our hearts
and to love all men as you love them.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
 
2) Gospel reading - Mark 6,1-6
Jesus went to his home town, and his disciples accompanied him.
With the coming of the Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, 'Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him? This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?' And they would not accept him.
And Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is despised only in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house'; and he could work no miracle there, except that he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. He made a tour round the villages, teaching.
 
3) Reflection
• The Gospel today speaks of the visit of Jesus to Nazareth and describes the mental obstinacy of the people of Nazareth, who do not want to accept him. (Mk 6, 1-6). Tomorrow the Gospel describes the openness of Jesus toward the people of Galilee, shown through the sending out of his disciples on mission (Mk 6, 7-13).
• Mark 6, 1-2ª: Jesus returns to Nazareth. At that time Jesus went to his home town, and his disciples accompanied him. “With the coming of the Sabbath, he began teaching in the Synagogue”. It is always good to return to one’s own home town and to find the friends. After a long absence, Jesus also returns and, as usual, on Saturday, he goes to the Synagogue to participate in the meeting of the community. Jesus was not the coordinator of the community, but even if he was not he takes the floor and begins to teach. This is a sign that persons could participate and express their own opinion.
• Mark 6, 2b-3: Reaction of the people of Nazareth before Jesus. The people of Capernaum had accepted the teaching of Jesus (Mk 1, 22), but the people of Nazareth did not like the words of Jesus and were scandalized. For what reason? Jesus, the boy whom they had known since he was born, how is it that now he is so different? They do not accept God’s mystery present in Jesus, a human being, and common as they are, known by all! They think that to be able to speak of God, he should be different from them! As we can see, not everything went well for Jesus. The persons who should have been the first ones to accept the Good News were precisely those who had the greatest difficulty to accept it. The conflict was not only with foreigners, but also, and especially with his own relatives and with the people of Nazareth. They refused to believe in Jesus, because they could not understand the mystery of God embracing the person of Jesus. “From where do all these things come to him? And what wisdom is this which has been given to him? And these miracles which are worked by him? This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joseph and Jude and Simon? His sisters too, are they not here with us?” And they would not accept him, they do not believe in Jesus!
• The brothers and the sisters of Jesus. The expression “brothers of Jesus” causes much polemics among Catholics and Protestants. Basing themselves on this text and in others, the Protestants say that Jesus had more brothers and sisters and that Mary had more sons! The Catholics say that Mary had no other sons. What should we think about all this? In the first place, the two positions, that of Catholics and that of the Protestants, both have arguments taken from the Bible and from the tradition of their respective Churches. Therefore, it is not convenient to discuss this question with arguments drawn only from reason. This is a question of profound convictions, which have something to do with the faith and with the sentiments both of Catholics and of Protestants. An argument taken only from reason cannot succeed to change the conviction of the heart! On the other hand, it irritates and draws away! Even when I do not agree with an opinion of another, I should always respect it! And we, both Catholics and Protestants, instead of discussing on texts, we should unite to struggle in defence of life, created by God, a life which has been so disfigured by poverty and injustice, by the lack of faith. We should remember other phrases of Jesus: “I have come in order that they may have life and life in abundance” (Jn 10, 10). “That all may be one, so that the world may believe that you, Father, has sent me” (Jn 17, 21). “Who is not against us, is for us” (Mk 10, 39.40).
• Mark 6, 4-6. Reaction of Jesus before the attitude of the people of Nazareth. Jesus knows very well that “nobody is a prophet in his own country”. And he says: “A prophet is despised only in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house”. In fact, where there is no acceptance or faith, people can do nothing. The preconception prevents this. Even if Jesus wanted to do something, he cannot, and he is amazed at their lack of faith. For this reason, before the closed door of his community “he began to make a tour round the villages, teaching”. The experience of this rejection led Jesus to change his practice. He goes to the other villages and, as we shall see in tomorrow’s Gospel, he gets the disciples involved in the mission instructing them as to how they have to continue the mission.
 
4) Personal questions
• Jesus had problems with his relatives and with his community. From the time when you began to live the Gospel better, has something changed in your relationship with your family, with your relatives?
• Jesus cannot work many miracles in Nazareth because faith is lacking. And today, does he find faith in us, in me?
 
5) Concluding prayer
How blessed are those whose offence is forgiven,
whose sin blotted out.
How blessed are those to whom Yahweh imputes no guilt,
whose spirit harbours no deceit. (Ps 32,1-2)
How blessed are those whose offence is forgiven,
whose sin blotted out.
How blessed are those to whom Yahweh imputes no guilt,
whose spirit harbours no deceit. (Ps 32,1-2)

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As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister." 

 



date | by Dr. Radut