Gospel Mark 3:20-35
A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand
Jesus went home with his disciples, and such a crowd collected that they could not even have a meal. When his relatives heard of this, they set out to take charge of him, convinced he was out of his mind.
The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Beelzebul is in him’ and, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts devils out.’ So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last. And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never stand. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot stand either – it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle his property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house.
‘I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies; but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.’ This was because they were saying, ‘An unclean spirit is in him.’
His mother and brothers now arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him. A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, ‘Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.’ He replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking round at those sitting in a circle about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe in you. I believe you have called me to the faith and to share that faith. I trust that you will fill me with your spirit of courage and truth so that I might faithfully assimilate and transmit the faith. I love you. I want to love you more with my prayer and with my life, and so grow in the unity of the love you share with your Father and the Holy Spirit.
Petition: Jesus, may I always have the strength to follow in your footsteps, wherever you lead me.
1. With the Mind or With the Heart: Sometimes there are “reasons of the heart” that the mind doesn’t understand. Why would a parent spend the night hovering over an ill child when the parent knows that he has to be at work by 9 a.m.? Logically, we need to sleep in order to be strong and alert enough to handle the challenges at our jobs. But love compels us to attend to the needs of children. And so it is with the Gospel of love. People think we are “out of our minds” as we strive to follow Christ more closely.
2. The Way, the Truth and the Life: “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6) First, Jesus shows us the road (I am the way), then he tells us where that road leads us (to truth and life). Our minds seek and are not satisfied until they discover the truth. Our hearts yearn for life, joy, happiness and love. Our entire lives are a constant search until we finally rest in Him.
3. Members of His Family: But Jesus offers us more! “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” What a great privilege to be part of God’s family! How many people dream of being a friend of the rich and famous because of the security and possibilities it would afford them. God, the Almighty, who is all powerful, makes us his children. What security and what possibilities he assures us! God will not deny anything that his children truly need.
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I will follow you wherever you lead me. Guide me down the path of a generous love that leads to life. Help me to be generous in the small, daily tasks as well as the big ones. Mother Most Pure, make my heart only for Jesus.
Resolution: Today, I will irradiate the joy and security of being a child of God by doing at least one kind deed for someone in need.