Gospel: Mark 14: 12-16, 22-26
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.’
Mass Intentions are for Bill Kendall RIP HC, Gerald Kiwanuka RIP OL
Family is as foundational a concept in the Bible as anything else. The Bible begins in Genesis, not with talk of nations and tribes…but families.
Big families. Real families. With moments of disfunction so great it makes your head spin—and gives one pause at the phrase” biblical family values.”
And sure, there are other great metaphors to describe the relationship between God and humankind, King and subjects, Master and slaves. But, it always comes back around to family.
Sometimes God’s faithful people are likened to the bride of the Bridegroom. And our infidelities are then compared to adultery.
But most of the time we’re God’s children. God’s daughters and sons who bring great joy as well as great consternation. And so, coming to God and God’s Kingdom is really like…going home to family.
In Mark chapter three, Jesus’ family is either frustrated with him, or just plain worried about him. They hear that Jesus is drawing crowds again and they go to restrain him—because people are talking.
Some people think he’s loony and his family is either embarrassed, or worried of what might become of him.
It doesn’t always end well for such people. But Jesus doesn’t seem to mind all that much, after all, he knows how badly it’s all going to turn out.
So what does he do? He opens up the tent and allows everyone who wants to enter, the chance to enter. Who is his family? Those who do the will of God. When you do the will of God you get the chance to be his brother, his sister…even his mother!
Jesus’ family is an open family. The door to the family homestead is wide-open and while the rest of us may bring dysfunction in the door with us—and at times we can look like a group of misfits…the things we gain are amazing and the greatest of those things is love.
Come on in. Join the family.
God Bless you all Deacon Martyn