REFLECTION/HOMILY FOR 10TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR B




REFLECTION/HOMILY FOR 10TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR B

HOMILY THEME: “WHOEVER DOES THE WILL OF GOD IS MY BROTHER, SISTER AND MOTHER”

BY: Fr. Jude Nnadi

Genesis 3: 9 – 15; 2 Corinthians 4: 13 – 5: 1; Mark 3: 20 – 35

Sisters and brothers, our liturgy today offers us a difficult passage from the Gospel of Mark. In it we find a tense atmosphere of hatred, demonic possession and blasphemy. These atmospheres make up three scenes before us. The first and the third are so connected and at their basis is the difficult relationship between Jesus and the members of his Nazarene family, those so-called “brothers of the Lord”. These people, embarrassed by Jesus, their relative who often hits authorities with his denunciations, jealous of his resounding success with the simple crowd of Galilee, annoyed by his freedom with regard to family ties, declare him insane, mad, out of his mind, with the intention of taking him away.

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We see this type of hostility in the ancient prophets: “even your brothers and your father’s house – we read in Jeremiah (12: 6) – are disloyal to you, they also shout at you and yell”. To this bitterness is added that of the “scribes who came down from Jerusalem”, these are supporters of the dominant civil and religious power, theologians and intellectuals, who accuse Jesus of diabolical possession, evoking a popular name attributed to the devil, Beelzebul, “lord of filth”, thus pointing to the ordinary people some diabolical monster, hidden beneath the surprising gestures of liberation and healing offered by Jesus to the crowds who press him from all sides. To them, Christ replies with a double parable, that of the divided house and the strong man, to remind us that he cannot “cast out Satan in the name of Satan” and the spoils of his victory over Satan cannot be taken from him by Satan. To this end, Jesus introduces a very strong phrase, “why will all sin and all blasphemies be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven”? The answer is seen precisely in the explanation added by Mark: “For they said, ‘he has an unclean spirit.’ This barrier is not in God and in his desire for forgiveness, but in man and in his obstinacy. When they see the good done by Jesus, the liberation from evil, the Spirit of salvation that he pours into the hearts and flesh of people and for selfish reasons, of interest, of protection of their power and jealousy they call all this evil and diabolical. Sin against the Holy Spirit is a willed and conscious blindness, a convinced and professed lie, an obstinacy in evil despite knowing the truth. Whoever reaches this level of hatred and falsehood has already sealed his fate and his condemnation. Isaiah had already reserved a curse for those who “call evil good and good evil, who take darkness for light and light for darkness, bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (5:20).
The third and final scene is a portrait of Jesus’ true family: “whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister and mother.” It is not enough to belong; to be part of the crowd, the ideal is in the doing, the daily living. And Mary in her Immaculate Heart will fully represent this definition, for by her obedience she brings him forth in love and follows him as a disciple until his supreme gift on the cross.
Brothers and sisters, it is not easy to call oneself a Christian by simply belonging to a church, Mary’s Virtues, obedience to the Word, humility, authentic and active faith are always necessary.

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