10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)


Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) Mark 3: 20-35 - June 10, 2018

“Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

After we have celebrated the great solemnities of the Most Holy Trinity and the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, which mark the beginning of this last part of the liturgical year called Ordinary Time, today in our biblical readings we take a tour around the beginning of the history of salvation in the book of Genesis, at the garden of Eden; and the beginning of Jesus´ ministry, in the Lake of Galilee. In the first part of our tour we can focus our attention on the healthy respect and care for nature, and in the second part on the power of Jesus to work miracles and how he casts out demons and his authority to defeat the evil one. These issues do not appear to be related, but they are if we consider them from the perspective of living our faith.

The Book of Genesis today gives us an account of sin´s entrance into the human scene. As a result, there is hostility and division in God´s creation, but there is a small spark of God´s eventual triumph at the end. In the Gospel Jesus has to deal with the great enemy Satan. Those who are around him, the hearers of God´s word will triumph also over evil. Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians heralds too the final victory. While his physical forces diminish, he grows stronger in the Spirit.

Genesis tells us a beautiful bucolic story: God takes on the form of a human being, an anthropomorphic way in the story of creation. God looks for Adam in the garden, and Adam knows he has sin, because he hides himself. Adam tells God that he hid himself because he was naked. But this story is not about nakedness; God created the body as something beautiful. The meaning of nudity here is about being exposed before the Lord. The man was proud and wanted to be like God. Adam was disobedient. When God questioned Adam, he did not take the blame for his actions, he said it was Eve´s fault. Nonetheless this is not a child story, we should look into the depths of Adam´s nudity and see our refusal to God´s will and realize what we have done wrong.

As Adam was exposed before the Lord, so were the scribes before Jesus. Instead of recognizing their own sinfulness, they accused Jesus´ good actions as coming from the devil. Not to see the holiness and mercy of Jesus was a sin and a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and this is the only sin, Jesus says, that cannot be forgiven. God does not forgive a person who believes that God does not have the power to forgive him; that would be a contradiction.

In today Gospel´s passage Jesus´ family come looking for him. They think that for being so much involved in his ministry he could be out of his mind, or at least get in trouble with the evil scribes and their followers. Jesus is not afraid to be exposed himself for whom he was. His family, that is, his mother and relatives, try to discourage him from his public actions, but he knows he is doing his Father´s will.

The Word of the Lord, the Bible, teaches us to take evil seriously Evil is real. The devil is an autonomous force in conflict with God´s goodness. The devil makes his appearance from Genesis through the book of Revelation. In his ministry Jesus´ adversaries  accused him of being Satan´s instruments. Probably they wanted to justify their evil doings.

Jesus promises that evil is to be finally vanquished. What Jesus did in his public ministry, especially through his death and resurrection is to be accomplished also by his brothers and sisters who take his words to heart and live it. We need to believe that evil does exist and it is manifested in different ways in our contemporary world. At his Ascension Jesus promised to be with us until the end of the World.

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