Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Catholic Reflections 674 : Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B Sunday 10 June 2018

Homily Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year B - Sunday, 10 June 2018

THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: Genesis 3:9-15
Psalm: Ps 129. “
With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:13 - 5:1
Gospel Acclamation: John 12:31. 32
Gospel: Mark 3:20-35
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Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year B - Sunday, 10 June 2018 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/sunday-10b-faith-hope-and-love  (EPISODE: 99 )
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The first reading, From Genesis, gives a beautiful picture of God’s love for us. Even when humanity sins, God does not abandon us, but continues to call us back to original innocence…..

It’s a superb image of our loving God, who created us from dust… This image of God walking in the garden in the cool of the evening and looking for his beloved children, created by his own hand… and they are hiding away in shame….
And God asks.. “why were you hiding from me?” And when Adam says… “we were hiding away in shame for we were naked”… God says with such beautiful, innocent love… “who told you this… who has put this way of thinking into your heads???”….

Isn’t this a wonderful sign that God loves us,… and this reading reminds us that God comes to our help in times of need….. and even more wonderfully…. God doesn’t just give compassion and assistance to those who are in difficulties at the hands of other’s wrongdoing… but we can see, time and time again, that God even comes to our aid, in compassion and love, when we are in the mess due to our own foolishness, pride or folly….//. God’s love and God’s ways of seeing, go far beyond our limited human concept of the world….//

In a world where those who are trapped by actions of their own doing and who have only themselves to blame for the pickle they find themselves in…. are often left unaided because they have brought the harm on themselves….//. It is such a message of hope and unconditional love, to know that Our God, cares about us, even when we have sinned.. and made mistakes…. God feels compassion ----  God feels sorry for us!!  … and reaches out to help us even when we know we were the architects of our own downfall…

God lovingly invites us to deepen our compassion and love, and respond gently and lovingly even to those whose need is caused by their own willfulness and poor choices….(Their own FAULT).  We too can be tempted to hide (in shame) from our God, whenever we are aware of our faults…(only appearing when we think we have hidden the signs our of failings)….. but God asks us… why are you hiding…. Who told you that there are things that can be hidden from me; the one who created you and loves you.

God’s mercy and love and grace inspires us to turn time and time again to God for help and to give grateful thanks to God always… for the more grace we receive, the more thanksgiving we must give to God.

In the Gospel, Our Lord reminds his followers that a house divided against itself cannot stand… So, an essential element of our membership of God’s family is unity and harmony….. It is not any part of god’s kingdom to have factions, quarrels and jealousy… but instead we are called to be united in one heart and mind and kind, compassionate and loving…..

As the offering prayer says today in this liturgy…. May our service… may everything we do, and all we offer…. Lead to a growth in charity…. May our actions lead to an increase in our love.

As the writer Harold Kushner says… his grandfather had virtually an unofficial doctorate in practical Theology…. BECAUSE>… though he was a down-to-earth labourer… who never attended any university… his actions showed a profound insight…. ‘everything he did, shone with the knowledge that everything he ate, and the way he treated people…. All of this mattered very much to God, who loved him, and loved everyone. So, his growth in charity and compassion grew daily and reached out to others in his daily life….

It is a shocking incident in this gospel…. Jesus is teaching the good news. He is the loving and visible expression of God’s kindness, mercy and love… and yet… his enemies reject him… they try to discredit him and disgrace him…. They distort his message of life and turn it into a message of death….

It’s a sad situation when the world has got its values so turned upside down that Good is named as bad, and bad things are called good……. But that was what they were saying… they accused him of working with the evil one, even though Jesus represented everything opposed to evil… What a grave insult… our lord warns them,… if you do not accept Jesus as working for the Kingdom of God, then there can be no penitence, no repentance, no forgiveness… because they do not believe in the one who came to lead us out of this mess…….

It is also a sobering message. We must be wary of labels that people attach to others, to try to neutralize their good works… We feel threatened and challenged by someone, it can feel easier to blame or label them rather than face the truth. Calling someone crazy…. Labelling them as bad… and motivated by malice…….these are awful techniques to destroy the credibility of people who only act for the good… In this day and age of “fake news” where accusations and labels flow thick and fast, and often without much (or any) substance to the claims…. We should be more wary and alert than ever! We ought to be extremely slow to swallow claims made even when shrouded in fake authority.

Just because people labelled Christ a “madman” and “in league with demons,” certainly (obviously) did not make it true. The fact that some believed these claims also did not make it true. It still was false!  In fact the claims could not be more false and blasphemous…..(It reminds me of a favourite saying I have:…  “to a friend, no explanation is necessary; to an enemy, no explanation will be sufficient!”) [When we hear claims that discredit and disgrace others, we can tell ourselves the truth: I have only heard one side of the story..  It does not make what is said true, (just in the telling of it). And we also can admit that, we may not be entitled to have the other side… as it is often not our place to adjudicate….]  

We too must be on our guard against applying false labels to others, spreading wrong assertions about others, or accepting as true such claims by others… This gospel warns us that it undermines the good of the Kingdom. Christ is the truth and he calls us to seek the truth always. Just as God asked Adam and Eve…  “who told you these things?”…   Our Lord in the Gospel is virtually asking of his people:….”who has poisoned your minds with such lies?  Have you made room in your hearts to see bad where there is only good, and good where there is clearly bad?”  (this is still wise counsel for us today). 

One final insight I have never realized before. We are told that people were saying Christ had gone out of his mind, and his family come to take charge of him. This seems astounding. True, his relatives thought they were trying to help him. His enemies had labeled him and were trying to thoroughly disgrace and discredit him. The danger was real, that this would lead to him being executed.

The family thought they were doing good by having him declared mentally unwell, as this would be a defense against blasphemy.. That is; He did not know what he was saying or doing and so could not be held legally responsible for his actions. They were trying to save his life.. But Christ will have nothing of it. He knows the risk of death and he willingly accepts it. He will not save himself by legal claims of unsound mind. He is completely in his right mind and will not allow others to say anything. So he replied…. Who are my family…. Anyone who hears my words and does them! We are indeed Christ’s family when we do as he commands….

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References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly

Barclay, W. (1975). The Gospel of Mark. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: St. Andrew Press

Link, M. (2000). Mission. Praying Scripture in a Contemporary Way. Year B. Allen, Tex.: Resources for Christian Living.


Marshall, A. (1990). NRSV-NIV parallel New Testament in Greek and English. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan.

Pilch, John J . The cultural world of Jesus Sunday by Sunday, cycle B. Collegeville, Minn. Liturgical Press .1996.

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 [{selected psalms } - ***Psalm verses are (also) taken from “The Psalms: A New Translation” ©1963, The Grail (England), published by Collins.. **]

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May God bless and keep you.


Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year B
(
Sunday, 10 June 2018)

(EPISODE: 99 )

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (or/ The Lord be with You)
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Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father: Lord, have mercy//You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth: Christ, have mercy//You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life: Lord, have mercy.//
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
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Memorial Acclamation

Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.

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Sundays Ordinary I

Various Needs and Occasions . IV

Communion side. pwk:
RH
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Go in peace 



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