14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

A prophet is only despised in his own country

Mark 6:5

Begin with a few moments of quiet.

The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you and among those gathered.

Invite all present to sit comfortably.

When sitting comfortably, take three deep breaths, as you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.

Now return to breathing normally and make the sign of the cross:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Invite each person present to take a few moments to reflect on:
Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?

Allow time in quiet for this and then, after a few moments, invite those present to share on this, if they are comfortable to do so.
If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.

Prayer for Healing – Eric Nordhoff

Introduce the Gospel

This is the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Familiarity breeds…well, sometimes blindness. We do need familiarity—we couldn’t be working things out for the first time all of the time. What is regular and known can help us get on with the day or the job or the relationship.
But there are times—we all have them —when sheer familiarity impedes our understanding and prevents our encounter with the new, the different and the radical.
Our case is, perhaps, the diametric opposite of that of the people of Nazareth. Our too comfortable faith familiarity with Jesus can hinder us from seeing the radical, the new, the disturbing. Sometimes a bit of defamiliarisation would be good for us!!

From Kieran O’Mahony Hearers of the Word for this Sunday

Read the Gospel Mark 6:1-6
Read the Gospel aloud, even if you are on your own.

Jesus went to his home town and his disciples accompanied him. With the coming of the sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, ‘Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him? This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?’ And they would not accept him. And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house’; and he could work no miracle there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Reflect on the Gospel

Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge. Use some quietening music again if you wish.

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

When you are ready, move onto reflecting on what took place in the Gospel, and the change of mood from astonishment at his teaching to his amazement at their ‘lack of faith’.

  • What is the movement that is taking place?
  • Place yourself in the scene, what do you hear, how does this speak to you?
  • Can you sense the anticipation, the desperation in the different characters.

Read the following translation offered by Kieran O’Mahony

And he left that place and comes to his hometown, and his disciples follow him. And when the Sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and the large congregation who heard him were terribly shocked. And they kept asking, “Where does this guy get this from? What is the wisdom that has been given to him, and such deeds of power that happen through his hands? Isn’t this the construction worker, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and aren’t his sisters here with us?” And their encounter with him led to their downfall. And Jesus was saying to them, “Prophets are not without honour, except in their hometown, and within their own family, and in their own house.” And he was not able to do there any deed of power, except that he did lay his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he was amazed because of their unbelief.

Translation by Eugene Boring

  • How does this alternative reading sit with me?
  • What is mine to do this week as a result?

Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Take a moment now to bring to mind those you want to share peace with, family, friends, those where your relationship is broken.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

Additional Resources

Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on the Readings in written or on video.

The Spirit of God is seeking to create a newness in our lives, that calls us to a fresh wholeness that requires much letting go of what we have known, and co-creating with God an undreamt-of future for our church, for our world and for ourselves. This does not mean forgetting the past, which has brought us to the present.

The Gospel life is about a new future in God. In an incarnational, evolutionary universe nothing is complete and God is still creating. We are a central part of this creation which is happening in our midst.