Every Friday we offer you a reflection on the Sunday gospel. This week’s reflection was written by Trevor Stockton, a CAFOD supporter from St Anthony of Padua parish, Wolverhampton.
Based on the gospel for Sunday 8 July – Mark 6:1-6
“Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him…?”
To be rejected is a horrible experience. The people in the synagogue in Nazareth have low expectations of someone born in their town and are suspicious of Jesus.
Their lack of faith rendered Jesus unable to perform miracles, although he was able to cure a few sick people.
What, then, must it be like for refugees who, fleeing the desperate circumstances of their birthplace, receive a hostile reception fuelled by stereotypes?
In January 2018, at a special Mass for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis said that we can’t let fear of the unknown direct how we respond to newcomers in our midst:
“These fears are legitimate, based on doubts that are fully comprehensible from a human point of view. Having doubts and fears is not a sin.”
“The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection,” Pope Francis continued.
“The sin is to refuse to encounter the other, to encounter the different, to encounter the neighbour, when this is in fact a privileged opportunity to encounter the Lord.”
Lord, help us towards a better understanding of the refugees in our midst and to conquer any fears that we have so that we may truly welcome them as sisters and brothers. Amen.