Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you.
[Jesus] was amazed at their lack of faith.
Last week, we heard the story of two people of faith: Jairus, the synagogue official, and the woman who had suffered from hemorrhages for 12 years (Mk. 5:21-43). They both received healing (in Jairus’ case, his daughter was raised from the dead), because of their faith.
To Jairus, Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; just have faith” (Mk. 5:36b).
To the woman with the hemorrhages he said, “Daughter, your faith has saved you” (Mk. 5:34).
These two people expected Jesus to do something in their lives. They expected Jesus to change things. They had expectant faith. They believed Jesus could and would help them.
Today’s Gospel tells a different story.
Jesus is in his hometown. He has just raised Jairus’s daughter to life. His power hasn’t changed. His ability to heal hasn’t gone away. He is still the Son of God who has come to establish God’s Kingdom.
Yet “he was not able to perform any mighty deed there” (Mk 6:5a).
Why? What is different?
The people of his hometown don’t expect Jesus to be able to do anything. They think they know Him. They know what He can and can’t do. Some things are just impossible for this local guy from Nazareth.
We do the same thing. We let our idea of the impossible swallow our faith. We don’t expect much from Jesus. Sure, we believe that Jesus can work miracles (in theory), but we know how the world works. We know what is impossible. Jesus can’t solve our family problems; that’s impossible. Jesus can’t heal the divisions in our nation; that’s impossible. Jesus’ can’t heal my illness; that’s impossible. Jesus can’t solve my financial problems; that’s impossible.
And so it is. Our hard hearts can shut out the gifts Jesus longs to give us. But what could happen if we expected Jesus to do something?
Ask Jairus. Ask the healed woman. They can tell us what is possible. They can show us what to expect.
Parish Pastoral Leader