The beginning of Mark’s 6th chapter confirms the suspicions of his hometown about Jesus. Up to this point in the story, Jesus has upset the established order in enough ways to raise the ire of religious authorities and the rank and file of Nazareth. Like most of us, the people in his home village found security in the status quo.
The way things are may not be life giving or just or open to God’s love, but it’s what I know and it keeps me going day to day.
But Jesus doesn’t’ want me to settle.
He’s challenging me today to seriously appreciate the infinite love of God for all creation, not to find “security” in a mighty military or an engorged financial portfolio to protect my cushy “American Way of Life” on the golf course, at the shopping mall or in the spa.
As a writer, Mark is blunt. He portrays Jesus a disruptor of set norms that don’t give life, that enslave and feed fears.
The norms of his time…the insular clan, the rigid religious hierarchy, the Roman oppressors, the unjust economic system…worked against the reign of God.
As a serious follower in the 21st Century, living in an economic and military power center of the world, I am called to be like Jesus.
Am I ready to be rejected by everyone, including those among my own kin and in my house, to give up everything, to follow the liberating Word of God?
Jim Wayne is a board member of the Passionists Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Office, state legislator, and author of The Unfinished Man. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky.