Gospel Reflection June 10 – Sr. Teresa

Sunday, June 10

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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 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.”

Reflecting on the readings for this Sunday, I was pulled up short by three phrases.

In the first reading from Genesis it was the two questions presented by God.
“Where are you?” and “Who told you that you were naked?” and in the Gospel: “Jesus came home with his disciples.” Reflecting on these three caused everything else to fall away.

“Where are you?” God knows everything. He knew where Adam and Eve were, why was God asking? Perhaps there is a question behind the question. God wants to know why they are hiding from him. Why have they turned away? Why have they tried to move out of God’s presence? Adam tries to explain that they were ashamed because they were naked, God asked, “Who told you that you were naked?”

When might God ask me: “Where are you?” Is it at those times when I try to hide from God? There are times when I turn my face from God because I am ashamed of what I have done or not done. I am ashamed of my behavior, so I try to hide from God. I don’t want God to see me. I don’t want God to know what I did because, if God knew, then, perhaps God would turn away from me. However, God always comes looking for us; God never turns away from us. God does not let us hide. God is the Eternal Good Shepherd. God is never ashamed of us and never stops loving us.

“Where are you?” How would I answer God if God put that question to me right now? Where am I in my relationship with God? Am I hiding from God? Do I have my face turned away from God? Do I not want God to see me or see something in my life? Am I right there with God and things are going well in my life right now?

The second question: “Who told you that you were naked?” “Who told you, you were stupid?” “Who told you, you were no good.” “Who told you, you were ugly?” “Who told you, you were better than everyone else?” “Who told you, you were too fat or too skinny?” “Who told you, you would never amount to anything?” “Who told you, you were great?” We all have those inner voices playing the tapes of what people have told us over our lifetime. “Who told you …” underneath it is the question, “Who have you been listening to?” “Whose voice do you choose to hear?”

Today we are bombarded with so many voices. There are voices telling us what is right and wrong; what we should or should not believe or think; what we need; what is good for us, blah, blah, blah. How do we filter out the voices? How do we quiet the multitude of voices and listen for God’s voice? How do we quiet the voices in our head or outside our head and listen to what God is telling us every day?

“Where are you?” “Who told you, you were naked?” These two questions are very perplexing questions. Then we come to the Gospel. I could get no further than the first six words, “Jesus came home with his disciples.”

Home in scripture is a metaphor for our heart. Jesus comes into the heart of his disciples. I don’t need to hide from Jesus. I listen to his voice speaking in my heart. We are loved. God is absolutely crazy about us. God loves us with an everlasting love and will never leave us out or behind. When I surrender to that love, then I will not turn from God. When I surrender to that love and listen to God’s voice I will be able to resist the lure of Satan in my life. When Jesus is in “my house” my house is not divided. It is strong. It will stand. There are times when I wonder if I take Jesus home with me. Do I take Jesus into my heart?

I invite you to linger with the questions: “Where are you?” (Are you hiding from God? If so, why? Where are you in your relationship with God?) and “Who told you that you were naked?” (Whose voice are you listening to?). Then sit with the Gospel, “Jesus came home with his disciples.” Look to see who is in your house (heart)! IT makes all the difference.

Sister Teresa Tuite, OP