Franciscan Gospel Reflection: Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

It’s the Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time!  We share this Franciscan Gospel reflection and questions written by Fr. Paul Gallagher, OFM. They are edited by Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Anne Marie Lom and Joe Thiel. The excerpts from the Sunday readings are prepared by Joe Thiel. To read or download the complete pdf with excerpts for your prayer, please click here: Franciscan Gospel Reflection June 10 2018. Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Please include this information when printing.

Photos: Sacred Heart Parish, Shawano, Wisconsin

Mark 3:20-35

He [Jesus] came home with his disciples. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder the house. Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven 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.”

His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.” But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Background

The opening verses of the third chapter of Mark’s gospel describe Jesus entering a synagogue on a sabbath and encountering a man with a withered hand. The officials are described as watching Jesus to see if he would cure the man, so that they would have something for which they could accuse him. Jesus called the man to the front and then asked the officials if it was lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil. When they did not respond, Jesus is described as becoming angry and grieving the hardness of their hearts. Jesus told the man to stretch out his hand and when he did so it was restored. Mark then says, “the Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.” (Mark 3:1-6)

Mark then reports that Jesus withdrew with his disciples toward the sea and that large crowds of people followed him. They came from Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem, and from the surrounding area. The crowds were so large that Jesus told his disciples to have a boat ready so that he could avoid being crushed by the crowd. Mark also reports that whenever unclean spirts saw him they would fall down before him and shout,
“You are the Son of God.” (Mark 3:11b)

Mark’s text immediately preceding the text for this Sunday tells of Jesus summoning his followers, selecting twelve to be with him and to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. Mark names those disciples, and then verse 20 states that Jesus returned home, and the rest of today’s gospel text follows.

Reflection Questions

1. My relationship with my family has been mostly…
2. The time I brought the most bewilderment to my family was…
3. What are some reasons why Jesus’ relatives might say that “He is out of his mind?”
4. If I had been there when the scribes said that Jesus was able to cast out demons because Jesus himself was possessed by a demon, I would have liked to…
5. If I had been there when Jesus said “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother,” I would have thought to myself …
6. After prayerful reading of this gospel text, can you talk with Jesus about you are feeling about your relationship to Jesus and Jesus’ relationship to you, or about some other awareness that has arisen within you?

Comments please: I tried a different style of reflection questions this week. If you have some time, please let me know if you found this style of questions helpful?

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