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Too Big for Our Britches

Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15

Brothers and sisters:
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:
My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.
Endure your trials as “discipline”;
God treats you as his sons.
For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.

Strive for peace with everyone,
and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God,
that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble,
through which many may become defiled.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18A

R. (see 17) The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust.
R. The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward children’s children
among those who keep his covenant.
R. The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.

Gospel: 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 Joseph 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.

NAB

Our Blessed is She community is comprised of women ages eighteen years and older; so chances are you are no longer under the direct supervision or jurisdiction of a parent or guardian. You’re a grown woman. You don’t have a curfew. You decide what you want to do with your free time. You’ve passed the test of adolescence and you’ve been parented. Now, you’re probably responsible for directing others either in your work or family.

So it’s probably easy for all of us to get a little eye-roll-y when we read about discipline and expectation in the readings today.

“Listen, Lord, this reading is totally for someone else. I’ve been disciplined and trained already, and I’m pretty great; could you please focus your attention on fixing all these other crazy people?”

As my mama would say, this is the moment when we get too big for our britches. It’s not very comfortable to acknowledge our own weakness and need for growth. When we let pride become an obstacle, we aren’t able to clearly see the direction the Lord is trying to provide for us. We struggle to strengthen our hands and knees when we don’t see anything wrong with them in the first place.

But despite our autonomy from the authority under which we were raised, God is our parent forever. He wills our good and knows what is best for us for all our days. We never outgrow or out-mature the need for training from Jesus. And He trains us with such kindness.

So as we live out our day today, sisters, let’s ask the Lord to show us areas in our life that need pruning and fertilizing; and then, let’s beg for the humility to acknowledge and desire the kind of growth He desires for us. You are my intention today!

Olivia Spears is a middle school religion teacher turned SAHM who is married to her high school best friend. You can find out more about her here.

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