Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

In tomorrow’s Gospel Jesus is speaking about not letting ones house, that is, ones life be plundered by the evil one. In the meantime some relatives come wanting to seize him, to stop him from speaking and the scribes are saying that he is possessed by a devil. At the end of this Gospel Jesus’ mother and brothers arrive and are asking for him.

This is a meditation on this Gospel from one of my sisters:

“Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

As I read this entire passage, it seems to be a patchwork, but as I meditate, something that appears as a backdrop comes into focus for me. It is all about Jesus and relationships. Jesus tells us the deepest basis of all relationships: believing in one another; being ready to go the extra mile to do God’s will together; sharing life and faith under the gaze of the heavenly Father, whose sons and daughters we are.

Jesus struggles to make this clear to the scribes, whose declarations he does not hesitate to call blasphemies. Jesus is unyielding, and he says blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin. To accuse Jesus of casting out Satan by the power of Satan does not make sense. Even more, it is making a sham of Jesus’ mission to come and put us into right relationship with the Father in the Holy Spirit.

Mark places the people who were closest to Jesus as witnesses of this blasphemy, perhaps to make us aware of how deeply this careless and evil talk hurt our Savior. I place myself in that little knot of relatives who came to take Jesus aside to rest, and hear the sharp intake of breath as they listen to this bitter attack on Jesus’ very reason for coming. I think I begin to understand better what holy hours for reparation mean, how precious they must be to the heart of the Savior.

If you have enjoyed this meditation, you’ll find meditations on all the Gospels of  Ordinary Time in: Ordinary Grace Weeks 1-17.


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