“You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God.”
A reading from the second Book of Samuel (2Samuel 24:2.9-17)
In those days: King David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, who were with him, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people.” And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to the King: in Israel there were eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand. But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, I pray you, take away the iniquity of your servant; for I have done very foolishly.” And when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer you; choose one of them, that I may do it to you. ”’ So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall three years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress; let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.” So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time; and there died of the people from Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched forth his hand towards Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented of the evil, and said to the angel who was working destruction among the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Let your hand, I pray you, be against me and against my father’s house.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm32: 1-188.8.131.52 (R. see 5a)
R/. O Lord, forgive the guilt of my sin.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is remitted.
Blessed the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt,
in whose spirit is no guile. R/.
To you I have acknowledged my sin;
my guilt I did not hide.
I said, “I will confess my transgression to the Lord.”
And you have forgiven the guilt of my sin. R/.
So let each faithful one pray to you
in the time of need.
The floods of water may reach high,
but such a one they shall not reach. R/.
You are a hiding place for me;
you keep me safe from distress;
you surround me with cries of deliverance. R/.
ALLELUIA John 10:27
Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; and I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.
“A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 6:1-6
At that time: Jesus came to his own country; and his disciples followed him. And on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands! 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 offence at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.
The Gospel of the Lord.
knowing people so well may hinder us from knowing them truly. We get so used to what we have known of people that we tend to be blind to what they have become or are becoming. For the people of Jesus’ hometown, ‘This is the Carpenter, surely…’ and they would not accept him.’ The wisdom in his teachings and the reports about his power, even those that were before their very eyes did not fit into their initial knowledge and impression of him, and thus were unacceptable to them. They did not know that the Carpenter was also the Messiah they awaited and hence, rejected him and he could work no miracle there. We must be careful not to let our familiarity blind us to the wonders of God’s ways. Being a Christian in this age and time requires great openness to God’s continual action in the church, in the world and in our very own brothers and sisters. We must be careful not to set a boundary as to the extents of God’s wonders and his ways. Be open!