For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. http://usccb.org/bible/readings/061018.cfm
This Sunday we return to what is known as “Ordinary Time” in our Church’s calendar. It is called Ordinary Time, to distinguish it from the seasons of Advent/Christmas and Lent Easter. At the beginning of our Gospel this Sunday we are told that when the crowds gathered around Jesus his relatives “set out to seize him for they said: ‘He is out of his mind’.” In the verses that follow, Jesus responded to the people who questioned whether he was using demonic power to case out demons by telling them: “How can Satan drive out Satan?” He then told them: “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin. For they had said: “He has an unclean spirit.” The Gospel closes with Jesus’ family finally arriving. When told his family had arrived, Jesus responded by saying: “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
While our Gospel today is a bit of a hodgepodge in regard to its meaning. It does tell us, though, that people were suspicious and even hostile toward Jesus because he did not conform to their expectations. Their resistance to Jesus was fueled by the suggestion from the religious leaders that he was out of his mind and/or possessed by Satan. More importantly, though, this Gospel also reminds us that those who believe in and seek to follow Jesus are in a new relationship with Jesus and with each other. We are brother and sister, mother and father to one another.
Our first reading this Sunday is from the Book of Genesis. It records the aftermath of the sin of Adam and Eve. The point of the story is that when sin entered the world our relationship with God changed. The mutuality and the close and open relationship with God that humans once enjoyed was forever changed because of sin.
Our second reading this Sunday is taken from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. In it St. Paul reminded the early Christians (and us) that when we encounter pain and difficulties --- even the pain associated with death that we are not to be discouraged. “For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comprehension, as we look not to what is seen, but to what is unseen; for we know that what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- Why is it easy to think of some people as our brothers and sisters, and not so easy for us to think of others as brothers and sisters?
- How do you imagine our relationship with God was before sin entered the world?
- Our second reading today is often used at funerals. What do you find most consoling about it?