From the Pastor – July 8, 2018

Daily short prayersJesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished.

They said, “Where did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”  He was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mk 6:1-2a, 3b, 4,6))

The most obvious reading in the Gospel today is that his own people did not recognize Jesus, the Messiah. But there’s also something deeper going on, and it has to do with our worldview. We are called to view everything in our lives not simply through our natural eyes but through the eyes of faith. When we look at a sunrise we can see it through natural eyes, meaning we are watching the closest star to the earth as it comes across the horizon of the earth. Naturally speaking, what we’re looking at is a massive nuclear fusion reaction that generates light and heat. Or we can choose to recognize God’s goodness in placing the earth at a location where the earth is warmed sufficiently to provide life to thrive while not overheating it.

We can look at other people through natural eyes, and see nothing but the differences between us. Or we can choose to see others through the eyes of faith and recognize how we are all created in the image and likeness of God.

And we have to use those same eyes of faith to find Jesus. When we go to Confession, we have to realize that it’s Jesus who forgives our sins, not the priest. Jesus works through the priesthood, but Jesus is the one forgiving, not the priest. That’s part of the reason I personally prefer going to Confession and hearing Confessions behind the “screen.”  It makes it easier for me to remember that Jesus is the one forgiving me, and I think it takes some of the human “counseling” aspect out of it.  Of course, I’m also available for counseling, but Confession is about forgiving sin, not talking about problems.

And the main place where we are called to use our eyes of faith is in the Holy Eucharist. What looks like bread and wine become the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ at Mass. Sometimes we can be like those people in the hometown of Jesus. We can become so familiar with what happens at Mass that we lose the “awe” we should feel.  Every Sunday we need to come to Mass with our ears open to hearing Him in the readings.  And every Sunday we need to come with our eyes of faith open to see Him in the Breaking of the Bread. for NOLA Mass Times
(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty