First Reading: Heb12:4-7. 11-15; Psalm: 103. R. v. 17ab; Gospel: Mk 6:1-6
THE DANGER OF FAMILIARITY
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” (Mk 6:3).
How much we know a person is never equal to the measure of the person’s potentialities. One of the features of the human person is our ability to discover and develop some dormant gifts and talents in us; and to do new things. And sometimes it surprises us that we can actually do the things we thought we were incapable of doing. So even the knowledge of ourselves is not exhaustive. We may know a person too well but can never comprehend in totality the latent potentials in such a person. Human beings are bundles of possibilities.
It will be an error of judgment to write off or pre-empt a person on the ground of familiarity before hearing from the person. When we do this, we may miss certain knowledge and opportunities that may never come our way again. God can inspire and use whomever he chooses. So stop paying attention to the person but to what s/he has to say. Jesus’ people missed the divine blessings of God because they allowed their familiarity with Jesus to get in the way of the gospel. Prejudgment always destroys evidence.
If we knew someone as a very poor singer, it doesn’t mean the person cannot improve. Even those we considered terrible preachers can inspire us someday. A little child can also surprise us with some new truth or understanding. If only we understood that God is constantly at work in his creatures, maybe we would learn to listen better. Never write off a person no matter how inadequate or how familiar the person is to us. Because great things happen when God mixes with us.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, grant us an open heart to your message of salvation. Amen.