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Your Undivided Attention

Most of them were astonished when they heard Him
Mark 6:1-6

Sermon Topic Wisdom

Sermon Week Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 6:2


In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus returns to Nazareth, His childhood home, for the first time since His public ministry began. His reputation has preceded Him. His fellow villagers have heard accounts of His revolutionary teachings and his awesome miracles. Now, here He is, in the flesh, back home again, teaching in the local synagogue. And the villagers are "astonished when they hear Him." "Where did this man get all this?" they ask. "What are these miracles that are being worked through Him? What is this wisdom that has been granted Him?"

Business students at a large university were assigned the task of interviewing a cross-section of the local community and submitting a report on the experience. One student was less than enthusiastic about the assignment. "I considered it to be a complete waste of time," he said, "until I asked a farmer in his late seventies, 'How much education have you had?' and he answered, 'Well, I had six years of schoolin' and seventy-two years of learnin'."

"Schoolin'" and "Learnin'" (acquiring knowledge and acquiring wisdom) are not one and the same. In our present day society, we seem to have little or no time in our busy schedules for practicing the pursuit of wisdom through serious, uninterrupted, quiet reflection on the mystery of life: who we are and what we ought to be doing with our lives. We are crippled in our search for wisdom by a society which insists on describing success as the ability to acquire knowledge and to skillfully apply that knowledge to the pursuit of personal gain.

We seem to be reaching a point of so-called "progress" at which our capacity for gathering and storing information is virtually limitless. And we can say with some degree of confidence that this knowledge-gathering explosion has produced some good results. But are we wise enough to heed the reminders that it produces problems and complications which we humans have never before faced? Are we wise enough to heed the reminders that we humans are relative newcomers in a universe that is billions of years old? In other words, as [...]

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