Who is Jesus?

by Rev. Vijaya Shekar Yemparala  |  07/07/2024  |  From the Clergy

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is with deep appreciation and love that I address you through this bulletin write-up. I want to express my profound gratitude to each and every one. I am deeply thankful for the privilege of serving as your priest and for the many ways you have enriched my life. I request your prayers as I begin my ministry at St. Anthony’s, Hughson. And please know that I will continue to pray for you.

This Sunday’s Gospel describes the typical pattern of Jesus’ ministry: teaching in the synagogue followed by acts of healing. In his hometown of Nazareth, the people are amazed by what they hear, but they also cannot comprehend how someone they know so well, might move them so powerfully.

This Gospel tells us that Jesus is hampered from performing miracles in Nazareth because of the people’s lack of faith. Jesus is said to be surprised by this. He did not predict or foresee this rejection. In this detail we find a description of the very human side of Jesus.

This passage unfolds a continuing theme of Mark’s Gospel: Who is Jesus? He is known as the carpenter, son of Mary, but they do not know Jesus as the Son of God. Mark is foreshadowing Jesus’ rejection by his own people, the people of Israel. He is also reflecting on and trying to explain the situation of the community for which he wrote. Mark’s community was mostly a Gentile community, who may have been experiencing persecution. By showing that Jesus himself was rejected, Mark consoles and reassures his first readers. He also prepares us to accept this possible consequence of Christian discipleship.

In closing, I leave you with a simple message: continue to support one another, to grow in faith, and to be a beacon of Christ's love. This parish is a vibrant, loving community, and I am confident that you will continue to flourish. May God bless each one of you abundantly, and may His Peace be with you always.

-Rev. Vijaya Shekar Yemparala