​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​SUNDAY, JULY 7TH, 2024



Jesus does great deeds of power and gives his disciples authority over demons.
     Yet none of this power is unilateral; it all must be received by faith. Jesus asks his
     disciples to go out without money or supplies, so that they will be dependent on
     how others receive them. When we are sent from the assembly to witness and to
     heal, we are asked to be vulnerable, to be dependent on the reception of others.
     The Spirit always operates in the “between”: between Jesus and his Abba, between
     Jesus and us, between you and me, between us and those to whom we are sent.


God of the covenant, in our baptism you call us to proclaim the coming of your
     kingdom. Give us the courage you gave the apostles, that we may faithfully
     witness to your love and peace in every circumstance of life, in the name of
     Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


In 597 BCE, the priest Ezekiel was removed into exile in Babylon. While there, he
     received a vision of God appearing majestically on a chariot throne. Today’s
     reading recounts God’s commissioning of Ezekiel during this vision. The prophet
     is to speak God’s word to a people unwilling to hear.

1 [A voice] said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with
     you.2 And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet;
     and I heard him speaking to me. 3 He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the 
     people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and
     their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. 4 The
     descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you
     shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord God.” 5 Whether they hear or refuse to
     hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a
     prophet among them.


(Response) Our eyes look to you, O God, until you show us your mercy. (Ps. 123:2)

1 To you I lift up my eyes,
to you enthroned in the heavens.
2 As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, and the eyes of a
       maid to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to you, O Lord our God, until you show us your mercy.
(Response) Our eyes look to you, O God, until you show us your mercy. (Ps. 123:2)

3 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy,
for we have had more than enough of contempt,
4 too much of the scorn of the indolent rich,
and of the derision of the proud.
(Response) Our eyes look to you, O God, until you show us your mercy. (Ps. 123:2)


Christians do not boast of their own accomplishments. Rather, Christian boasting
     focuses attention on how the power of Christ is present in our lives, especially in
     times of weakness and vulnerability. No matter what our circumstances in life,
     Christ’s grace is sufficient for us.

2 I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third
     heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. 3 And
     I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know;
     God knows—4 was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be
     told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. 5 On behalf of such a one I will boast,
     but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. 6 But if I wish to
     boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so
     that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me,
     7 even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to
     keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger
     of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. 8 Three times I
     appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9 but he said to me, “My
     grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast
     all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in
     me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions,
     and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

Alleluia. I will boast gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of

Christ may dwell in me. Alleluia. (2 Cor. 12:9)

MARK 6:1-13

At home and abroad, Jesus and his disciples encounter resistance as they seek
     to proclaim God’s word and relieve affliction.

1 [Jesus] came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him.2 On the sabbath
     he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded.
     They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been
     given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3 Is not this the
     carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and
     Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
     4 Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their
     hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5 And he could do
     no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and
     cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.

     Then he went about among the villages teaching. 7 He called the twelve and
     began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean
     spirits. 8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no
     bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not to put on
     two tunics. 10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you
     leave the place. 11 If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you,
     as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”
     12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many
     demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

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1220 Bayshore Road​, Villas, NJ 08251​
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