HomeCommentaryThe Bastard from Nazareth

The Bastard from Nazareth

Homecomings conjure up positive images for a lot of people, especially graduation and vacation days. For many, homecoming is almost synonymous with reunion.

But Sunday’s lection on Jesus’s homecoming paints a different picture. His townmates ask, “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?”

Mark’s ‘The carpenter from Nazareth, the son of Mary’ (read, bastard) was a hard sell. It was certainly a hard sell for the other Nazarenes; in the Lukan version of this story, they tried to throw Jesus off a cliff.

I always ask my co-learners to imagine a daughter or sister or friend–who is barely out of her teens–being pregnant and telling everyone that the father of her child is the Holy Spirit. Mark’s ‘The carpenter from Nazareth, the son of Mary’ (read, bastard) was a very hard sell. Then and now.

To this day, the bastard from Nazareth who lived his life with and for those whose only hope was God; who preached good news to the poor; who challenged the rich to sell everything they have and give the proceeds to the destitute; who defied empire and its life-negating systems; and who commanded everyone who followed him to offer one’s life for a friend; remains an extremely hard sell.

You can’t exactly sell a way of life that carries a high risk of being executed by the state, can you?

Gospel reflection of Prof. Revelation Velunta, Union Theological Seminary , Dasmarinas, Cavite for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

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Balik-Tanaw is a group blog of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR). The Lectionary Gospel reflection is an invitation for meditation, contemplation, and action.

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