Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2024 Franciscan Gospel Reflection

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

June 07, 2024

Franciscan Friar Fr. Paul Gallagher reflects on the Gospel readings for the Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. What are some possible reasons for Jesus’ family to want to bring him back to Nazareth?

The content is 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 9 2024. Excerpts are 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. Photos: Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity 

Mark 3:20-35

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 Beelzebub,” 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.”


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 calls the man to the front and then asks the officials if is lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil. When they do not respond, Jesus is described as becoming angry, and grieving at their hardness of hearts. Jesus then tells the man to stretch out his hand, and when he does so it is 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, from Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, and the surrounding areas. The crowds were so large that Jesus told his disciples to have a boat ready so that he could avoid being crushed by the crowds. Mark also reports that whenever unclean spirts saw him, they would fall down before him and shout “You are the son of God.” (Mark 3:7-11)

In the text immediately preceding the Gospel text for this Sunday, Mark tells of Jesus summoning his followers and appointing twelve to preach, whom he also gave authority to drive out demons. Then Mark names those disciples. After this, verse 20 states that Jesus returned home, and the rest of today’s Gospel text follows.

The Gospel contains two stories, placed together in order that they might give insight to each other. Together they tell of Jesus’ increased isolation from both family and the Jewish religious leaders of the day. The text states that Jesus went home, but it is not Nazareth but Capernaum that is being referred to here. His family has arrived to bring him back to Nazareth. The scribes accuse him of being possessed by Beelzebub.  Jesus’ parable addresses both the concerns of his family and of the scribes. He has demonstrated himself to be the stronger person, and any family divided cannot stand.  Therefore he can reject the claims of blood allegiance and religious authority of the scribes, and state that his support and family ties come from those who have become his followers.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Have you ever been ridiculed or thought to be a bit strange by others? How did that affect you at the time and as time passed?
  2. How do you feel about your relationship with your family?
  3. What are some possible reasons for Jesus’ family to want to bring him back to Nazareth?
  4. What are some possible reasons for why the scribes might be trying to discredit Jesus?
  5. If you had been there when the scribes said that Jesus was able to cast out demons because Jesus himself was possessed by a demon, what would you have liked to do?
  6. If you would have 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,” how would you have felt for Jesus, for his mother, and for the disciples?
  7. After prayerful reading of this Gospel text, can you talk with Jesus about how you are feeling about your relationship to Jesus and Jesus’ relationship to you, or some other awareness that has arisen within you?


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