Author Topic: Familiarity Breeds Contempt  (Read 350 times)

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Offline Gloria Girl

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Familiarity Breeds Contempt.
Homily for January 31, 2018.

“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 they took offense at him.” Mark 6:3. 

The saying is indeed true that the grass always looks greener outside. From time immemorial, humans have not learnt to value what is their own. We do not respect those who come from our land, we do not patronize goods produced in our neighbourhood, we are always thrilled by what is foreign, what is imported and what comes from far far away.

Due to their familiarity with Jesus, his own people took offence at him; that is, they were angry with him for attempting to prove he was not that little carpenter’s son they knew. As we would say in pidgin: “why you con dey form for us na?”

Now comes the question: did Jesus actually have brothers and sisters as they mentioned? For me, given the context at which this statement was made, I am of the strong opinion that it was solely intended to demean Jesus, to make him appear as ordinary as anyone else, and to deny the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Unfortunately, many Christians pick on this verse as a defence as to why they should not have any devotion to Mary. If something was said as an insult, why should it now be used as a statement of fact? Jesus never had brothers and sisters. Mary remained a virgin before, during and after the birth of Jesus Christ. This is a mystery but failure to believe it amounts to denying the omnipotence of God, failure to believe it is like saying there is a limit to what God can possibly do.

Jesus did not do much among the people because of their lack of faith. When out of familiarity we begin to lose faith, we should not be surprised when things no longer work well for us. It is not God’s fault but our fault. Using the analogy of the crowd pressing around Jesus whereas only the woman with the issue of blood had the faith to touch his garment and receive healing, a priest yesterday in his reflection spoke of how so many people today are like crowd pressing around Jesus but only the very few who have faith actually receive graces and miracles.

Familiarity with God also expresses itself in sinfulness. We could get too used to receiving mercy from God, we could get to take the sacrament of penance for granted given that it is always readily available. I am of the opinion that it was out of familiarity that David took a census of the people – an act he was not supposed to have done given that God speaking to Abraham said that his people shall be as numerous as the stars and as many as the sands on the seashore. For this sin of David, seventy thousand men died.

Again, this is why we must pray for our leaders. Seventy thousand people lost their lives just because of the sin of just one man, David. Furthermore, we make a great mistake when we stay aloof from the process of selecting our leaders because if we do not actively participate in putting the right persons in the right positions, we would have ourselves to blame for it.

There is enormous suffering in our land today. The state of insecurity and economic meltdown has never been this bad. Injustice has reached such a high record level. A particular group of persons seem to have immunity to kill, destroy and assassinate because those in power who belong to the same ethnic group have sworn never to arrest or bring anyone of them to book. People are been killed in their farms, butchered like animals and nothing is been done.

Go and register today. Get your Permanent Voter’s Card. Join a political party and have the chance to be voted for. As St. Maximilian Kolbe would say: “Indifference is the greatest sin of the twentieth century.”

Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, deepen our faith and grant that we may never suffer for the sins of our leaders. Amen.

St. John Bosco, patron of the youths, pray for us.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. (Wednesday of the 4th week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 2 Samuel 24:2-17 and Mark 6:1-6).

Fr. Abu.


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