Scripture Reading: Mark 3:20-35
Today’s Gospel begins and ends with the theme of family, which is sandwiched between a dispute about the relationship of Jesus to the world of demonic power. The Gospel begins with the family of Jesus questioning His sanity. For many, the message that Jesus proclaimed was troubling and upsetting, and so His family began to wonder if He was out of His mind. This is followed by the narrative of the scribes asking about the power of Jesus. Did His power come from “Beelzebub,” the name of an unclean spirit in Jewish literature, who is perhaps a demonic prince?
Jesus brilliantly responds by turning the tables on them. It is not Jesus but those whose hearts are hardened (through rejecting God’s representative) who are in danger of irrevocably separating themselves from God’s friendship. The Gospel then returns to the theme of family. The bonds of our relationship with Jesus result from doing the will of God. Each of us is challenged to conversion. Jesus clearly states that in doing the will of God, one becomes part of the family of God. In a world where often inheritance, wealth, or being born into the right family gives special privileges, we see Jesus changing all of that. Through our Baptism, we are born again and become adopted sons and daughters of God. And because we are children of God, we are called to act like children of God. This means living the Beatitudes and all of Jesus’ teachings. The way that Jesus lived His life gives us the perfect example of doing the will of God. We too are called to live as Jesus taught us to.
There is only one thing that really matters in the life of a Christian; it is to know and to do the will of God. This being the case, how important is the theme of this study! To know and to do God’s will was the supreme thing in the life of our Lord Himself. In Psalms 143:1-12, note that David prayed, “Teach me to do Your will” – not simply, “Teach me to know Your will.” He was prepared to do the will of God, whether it was easy or hard, pleasing or painful, and whether it was harmonious with what he wanted or otherwise.
Gen 3:9-15; Ps 130:1-2.3-4.5-7a.7b-8(R.7bc); 2 Cor 4:13-5:1; Accl Jn 12:31-32 Gosp Mk 3:20-35 TENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR (B)
1. Father in heaven, let Your holy will be done. We know, O Lord, that whatever You please, that You do in heaven and on earth, in the seas and in all the deep. (Psalms 135:6 [ESV]) Your counsel shall stand, and You will accomplish all Your purpose. (Isaiah 46:10 [ESV]) Even so let it be, Holy Father, not our will, but Yours, be done. (Luke 22:42 [ESV]) As You have planned, so let it be, and as You have purposed, so let it stand. (Isaiah 14:24 [ESV]) Do all according to the counsel of Your will. O help us to submit to Your will in conformity to the example of the Lord Jesus who said, “Not as I will, but as You will”.
Exercise: Learn to trust God’s will. Plan to be part of the Annual International Retreat slated for 14th to 17th June at Jubilee Retreat & Conference Centre behind Mother of Redeemer Catholic Church, Airport Junction, Effurun Warri, Delta State.
Meditation: Luke 22:42.