Reflection on Scripture Tenth Sunday Gospel Year B

By 10:14 AM

Tenth Sunday Gospel Reflection Year B

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." 
Home could be Capernaum or Nazareth.  Given the final verses below, it seems more likely to be Capernaum. This was his base of operation during his ministry in Galilee.
Mark reminds us that not everyone received Jesus openly. Some of his relatives from Nazareth were embarrassed and probably afraid of the political and religious backlash  they could experience from the authorities.

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "By the prince of demons he drives out demons."
The scribes (representing the Pharisees) tried to discredit him by accusing him to be in
league with the devil. They accuse him of using demonic powers to perform his miracles.

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.
Jesus confronts these accusations head on. It doesn’t make sense for him to cast out demons from the possessed if he is in league with the devil. The devil doesn’t fight against himself.
In another Gospel he says that it is not by the power of evil but by the ‘finger of God’ that he broke the power of Satan over the possessed.

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."
Here Jesus identifies the real problem in the hearts of his accusers. They are denying who he really is, the Son of God, one sent by God. They are rejecting the source of his power, namely the Holy Spirit. Their hearts are hardened and refuse to be open to the grace of the truth.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to deny the power of God to forgive sins. There is no sin God will not forgive, except one who refuses to turn to the Lord in repentance, asking for forgiveness. This hardened heart rejects the mercy of God.

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."
If Jesus was at home in Nazareth, his mother would be there. But presumably she arrives in Capernaum. She probably heard what some of their relatives were saying about him. So she may have brought other relatives with her to support her son.

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."
Jesus identifies the more underlying relationship he has with others. Those who do the will of God are in relationship with him. That is why his relationship with Mary is not limited to a natural bond but more importantly a spiritual bond.
The same is true with us. Our relationship with Jesus is to be based on our willingness to do the will of the Father.

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