Friday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Leviticus 23:1,4-11,15-16,27,34-37 + Matthew 13:54-58
August 2, 2019
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place….”
The last sentence of today’s Gospel passage presents something of a conundrum. No matter how we interpret the fact that Jesus “did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith”, we are challenged.
Some might interpret these words to mean that Jesus’ power to work miracles was constrained by the lack of faith of those in His hometown. More sensible, however, is to see Jesus’ lack of miracles as a prudent choice on His part. It doesn’t require faith on the part of people for God to work miracles. It requires faith on the part of people for God’s miracles to bring about their primary goal. God’s goal when He completely cures someone who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer is not to give that person immortal life on earth. His goal is to bring the one cured and those around him to a greater practice of love for God and neighbor, so as to give them immortal life in Heaven.
We are challenged, then, to admit where we lack faith in our own lives. We are challenged to allow the miracles that God works to bear fruit in our lives. We are challenged not to live for ourselves, but for others, beginning with the Other who calls us to share in His life of love.