“And they took offense at him.”

As we continue along in Mark (6:1-6) at Sunday Mass, we find Jesus moving on to Nazareth, the place where He grew up.  Traveling with His disciples, He begins teaching in the synagogue.  While the townspeople are astonished at His wisdom and “mighty deeds” they wonder about Him since they (think they) know so well Him, His mother, and His relatives.  Then follows the line above.  Jesus, responding to this attitude, acknowledges that He, like the prophets through the ages, finds no honor at home.  “Amazed at their lack of faith” (v. 6), Jesus was able to heal only a few sick people on His visit.  When we consider who is offended by Jesus, we might naturally think of totalitarian regimes, communist countries, or areas where religious freedom doesn’t happen by law, or if legal, not in practice.  We might also think of militant atheists or those in the grip of the devil through sin and vice.  But what about predominantly Christian societies — those most familiar with Jesus — that seek more and more to impinge upon religious freedom because of a misguided and misunderstood “compassion”?  And what about those same societies that enact laws enshrining the killing of the unborn, the elderly, and the ill, while “blessing” “marriage” between couples of the same sex?  And where pornography and “alternative lifestyles” are not only tolerated but embraced and lauded?  Are not these all indications of taking offense at Jesus?  The Word is clear on all these matters and so many other grave sins that we are called to spurn.  Unfortunately, some try to twist the words of the Bible to justify the sinful acts they embrace , worsening their plight by altering scripture (cf. Rv 22:18-19) thus leading others astray (cf. Mt 18:6).  Let us be a voice, even when it seems to be a lonely one, that never compromises in the face of sin and evil but always seeks to know the Truth more completely and share it in love.

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