Lack Of Power
Fr. Terry Ryan, CSP
Mark 6: 1-6a
July 8, 2018
Lack of power, this is what many of us say is our problem. But the gospel offers it as an opportunity, rather than a problem. Jesus has a “thorn in his side.” It is his relatives and long-time friends from his hometown where he grew up. They are offended by the change in Jesus, from stay at home carpenter, to traveling preacher and healer. Crucifixion and resurrection will really blow them away. Jesus is powerless to change them, and he is supposed to be God! What is his response beyond amazement? He continues to do the best he can, moving on with his ministry, calling, vocation, to be all that he was born to be.
It is the same with us. When we cannot change people, places and things, why not see it as an opportunity to let it go and give it over to God. Effort is our job. Results are not. When we accept our weakness to be unable to make changes in ourselves or others, we can let it go to the power of God. That is what Paul the evangelist meant when he said about the thorn in his side, “Where I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul kept on doing what he was doing and did not let success be defined by how people responded to him.
The Prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures were commissioned to speak out against the rulers and the people who were hard-hearted. The prophet’s job is to be faithful to their calling, not to worry about the results, and in fact few people listened or changed for the better.
Power is not our problem. We may have the power to be faithful to our mission, our work, our relationships, even our hobbies. What we lack is humility when we think our efforts will change what we think needs to change. Effort is necessary, crucial, but be humble enough to accept that you are not God nor are you in charge of changing others. Our job is to change ourselves, or allow ourselves to be changed by God for the better. Outside results don’t necessarily change our insides.