Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples.
 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?
 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
 Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home."
 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.
 He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.
Mark 6:1-6 [NIV]
This last year has been painful and frustrating, and as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, hunger, inequality, despair, and death have increased. It is very difficult to keep good spirits, smiles, and dreams in the middle of such an exhausting experience, due to its negative impact and duration. Everything that was normal for us has changed irreversibly, preventing us from seeing the way out or the possibility or alternatives. All of us have experienced and suffered the effects in different areas of our lives.
Personally, I must confess that I depend on hugs, kisses, and smiles not only because of my Latin culture, but because I like to express affection in a physical way. For me, the community of faith is one of the places where we can share affection, feed those who are hungry in body and spirit with food, hugs, and words. At the same time that we are fed with their affection and life experiences. I suffer from distancing and the absence of hugs.
Serving as a pastor, supporting social projects in celebratory and educational spaces, visiting homes and lives, has been until now a Pentecost experience where my voice joins that of the People of God who are hungry, sick, grateful,and celebrant. I miss all that, as well as the spaces of CANAAC, where we meet brothers and sisters from different churches and countries to get to know each other, dream together, and celebrate the same God.
In times like these, we can be one with Jesus in the frustration of seeing ourselves without enough solutions, and in the pain of not being able to share his teachings and healing as part of our journey as Christian believers. However, Jesus accepted his frailty and humbly found new ways to help as he continued on his way despite his amazement.
Let's think of this time period of pandemic as a spiritual journey, where we can hear new and familiar voices, speaking unexpected words. Let’s listen to the hope-filled voice of God for his people in the midst of pain. Let’s us accept, even with amazement, our frailty as a place for God to reveal new ways of living.