Daily Reflection
January 31st, 2001
Ken Reed-Bouley
Center for Service & Justice
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Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15
Psalms 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18
Mark 6:1-6

“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?”

And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” 

 Mark 6:3-4

How often do we place people with whom we are acquainted in a box so that we can pretend to know them fully? 

“Joey was always the quiet one in the family.  I’m sure he could never do a job that required public speaking.”

“Well, you know she’s an ISTJ on the Myers-Briggs, so I wouldn’t expect her to have much feeling.”

“I heard she was pretty stuck up.  I wouldn’t want to be her friend anyway.”

Do we ever really know someone fully?  Is it possible to completely understand the mystery that is the human person? 

The people in Jesus’ hometown assumed they knew him completely.  They knew Jesus.  They knew his family, and that was that.  Jesus was in a box.  The people of Jesus’ hometown thought they knew all there was to know about Jesus.  They gave him no room to grow, no space to break out of their preconceived definitions. 

Because they were not open to seeing the growth of this carpenter and son of Mary, the people of Jesus’ hometown limited the good work he could do there.  Jesus had to move on to places that were willing to embrace the mystery of the human person, the mystery of this man Jesus whom Paul tells us was fully human and fully divine. 

My prayer today is that we may be able to embrace each person in our lives with the appropriate reverence that is due each human being.  We must work hard not to box people in to our preconceived ideas.  We must give them space to become who they really are, like Jesus, fully human that brings us closer to the fully divine.

Finally, can we provide this same sacred space for ourselves to become who we really are?  If we can, Jesus will marvel at our belief and do mighty works within us and through us. 

Come lord Jesus.  Send us your spirit.  Renew the face of the earth.  Amen.

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