Today is Wednesday the 5th of February, the Memorial of S Agatha, in the fourth week of Ordinary time.

The monks of Glenstal Abbey sing Viri Galilei: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?”  Although this is the Antiphon for the Feast of the Ascension, it has something to say to us the rest of the year as well: When I am looking for God, all too often I look into the sky, as if God is far off in some distant place, when in fact God is here with me now, in the people around me, in the ordinary, everyday events of my life. Can I sense that presence?  Here?  Now?

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Mark.

Jesus returns to his hometown…. he comes as a teacher.  Yet his teaching is greeted not with wonder, but with contempt!  Can you recall a time when you’ve felt too quickly disregarded or dismissed by those closest to you, those who know you too well?  What did that feel like?

Now turn the tables for a moment….. Can you identify those around you, people you know well, who all too often get disregarded or shouted down?  “Oh it’s only so-and-so, he would say that”.  How important would the message have to be before you took them seriously?

As you hear the reading again, imagine the scene, see the faces of the people from Jesus’s hometown.  Listen to what they say about him.  Could such an amazing man come from such an ordinary town?

I ask God now for whatever I feel I may need, an increase in faith perhaps, or maybe the ability to see God’s power and love in all the ordinary things, as well as the amazing things around me.  I talk to God, and listen to what he has to say to me.