Tenth Sunday of the Year Homily

Posted on Jun 12, 2018



10 JUNE 2018

One of the great things about the gospels is that they tell the truth even when it is unflattering.

Today’s pericope, found only in Mark, and rarely read out at Mass is one of those instances.

We are still early on in the gospel and the Marcan author is preparing the ground work

for the end of his narrative.

The question he keeps raising is, “Who is Jesus?”

Today, there are two answers to the question–

given first by his family–those closest to him,

and then by those who would eventually join in having him killed.

The first answer–given by his family–is: “He’s a crazy man.”  “He’s out of his mind.”

Literally, they had come to take him away.

He was a source of shame and embarrassment to them.

It is not a flattering picture of Mary.  But then you may recall the Marcan author has no infancy narrative, no legend of piety about the conception and birth of Jesus.

Those are not important to him.

For the Marcan author the important thing is the preaching, suffering, and death of Jesus. And, what we make of it.

The second answer–given by those who would eventually be part of those who would destroy him–is: “He’s in league with the devil.”

You may recall that in the time of Jesus, any infirmity, physical, spiritual or mental,

was linked to sin.

Jesus defends himself against the allegations but we’re clearly left with the impression

that his defense falls on deaf ears.

Like so many people even in our own day, once the allegation is made,

it doesn’t matter whether the person is innocent or guilty.

And here’s the crux of the problem, then and now.

Why is it that whenever we come in contact with the truly good, the truly generous,

we are suspicious of it?

Why is it that when we find someone who give away most of what they have, we distrust it?

We call such people crazy or simple.

Jesus says some pretty harsh things about this tendency in us–this failure to believe the Holy Spirit could bring about something noble and true and good in our midst.

That despairing, which will not allow us to believe even in the conversion of someone,

Which does not allow us to believe that God can still bring good things to life here and there in all our lives.

It’s summer, yes, it’s finally come.

It just after Pentecost when we believe the Spirit has brought renewal and new life again.

Let’s look for it and believe it.