Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2024 Franciscan Gospel Reflection

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

July 02, 2024

Franciscan Friar Fr. Paul Gallagher reflects on the Gospel readings for the Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. Did you go through a period of life when you were uncertain about to what you wanted to devote your life?

The content is edited by Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Anne Marie Lom and Joe Thiel. The excerpts from the Sunday readings are prepared by Joe Thiel. To read or download the complete pdf with excerpts for your prayer, please click here Franciscan Gospel Reflection July 7 2024. Excerpts are from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Photos: Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Holy Family stained glass windows St. Francis Chapel, Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Mark 6:1-6

Jesus 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? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” 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.” So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.


The text for this Sunday’s Gospel follows directly from last week’s Gospel. The response of these people to Jesus’ presence is dramatically different from what Jesus experienced as Mark had recorded in his previous Gospel text. The faith of both Jairus and the woman who had been hemorrhaging in last week’s Gospel was inspiring. But here the response of the people of Nazareth, Jesus’ own kin, is debilitating instead. They do not take offense in Jesus’ teaching. Mark states clearly in verse 2, “…many who heard him were astonished.” Rather, they reject Jesus because he is not acting the son of a carpenter.

People commonly believed each person held a certain status that had been assigned to them, and they were responsible to maintain that status. To try to rise above that status was a disruption of the social fabric of life. A major factor in determining a person’s status was their family of origin. Sons were expected to carry on the trade and business of their father. Jesus would have been expected to be a carpenter like his father.

Mark signals the people of Nazareth’s displeasure with Jesus by saying they referred to him as the son of Mary. Nazareth is the town of Joseph. Usually, people were designated as sons of their father, just as James and John are known as the sons of Zebedee. When a person is referred to as the son of their mother, it usually is because the father is uncertain. Mark’s community would have understood the reference to Jesus being the son of Mary as a derogatory statement.

Often Jesus is portrayed as the master of insult. Here Mark portrays Jesus as being ready with his own insult. Drawing on their sacred tradition, he quotes a familiar proverb to criticize those who are critical of him, casting them in the same light as those in their familiar proverb.

Most realize that there is a great deal of Jesus’ public life for which we have no record. Mark, like all the Gospel writers, had to select what events to included and which to pass over. Why would Mark include an encounter that is not flattering to the people of Jesus’ hometown? Why would he suggest, in some way, that Jesus was negatively affected by the townspeople’s reaction to him? This text could be problematic for Christian missionaries who are trying to convince people that Jesus was the Messiah. Would the Messiah be flustered by a negative reaction to his message? How did the early Christians find, in the Jesus who is criticized and rejected by his own family, a Jesus that they could trust was the Christ?

Reflection Questions:

  1. Among your friends and neighbors, are there one or two whose success or accomplishments truly surprised you? Does how you answered that question speak to your expectations for those who grew up in your neighborhood?
  2. Did you go through a period of life when you were uncertain about to what you wanted to devote your life?
  3. Who were the people who have been most supportive of you as you found your own way in life? Were there also people who were discouraging?
  4. What might have been some of the questions Jesus struggled with before he set his life on being an itinerant preacher?
  5. Mark tells us that Jesus returned to his hometown accompanied by his disciples. What are some of the ways their presence might have affected his neighbors? What other factors might have had an impact on their reaction to Jesus?
  6. What do you make of the statement that Jesus was affected by the negativity of his family and neighbors?
  7. Can you take to some time to talk with God about your experience of rejection, not being able to fulfill the expectations of others, or whatever struck you in this Gospel?

Article Comments:

Sister Anne Marie Lom 07/07/2024 @ 6:43 am

I think this gospel illustrates the need to be aware of the holiness of the ordinary people in our lives. Even those we don’t like, those who irritate us, can teach us lessons of love.


Speak Your Mind