10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Homily

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Genesis 3:9-15
Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 (7bc)
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Mark 3:20-35
June 9, 2024

When Jesus returned home, his relatives were surprised to hear what He was saying and doing.  They knew him as the little boy who grew up in their family.  What they saw now made it seem to them like Jesus was “out of his mind.

 Then, there were the scribes who were quick to reject Jesus as the Messiah.  To discredit Jesus and the miracles He was doing, they said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.

Jesus knew what was in their hearts.  Speaking in parables, He pointed out the fallacy in their claim.  “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.

Division is not a good thing.  It weakens the whole body.  Unfortunately, division is real. 

We clearly see it in politics today.  We can see it between various groups.  We even see dissension in the church. 

Given the “radical individualism” we see in society, people think they can pick and choose what they believe.  These people treat the teachings of our Catholic faith as a buffet where they pick and choose what they want to believe and reject the rest.  The term that can be used for to describe such people is “Cafeteria Catholics.”

Unfortunately, this is not something new but perhaps more prevalent.  Humans have always had a tendency to reject God’s commandments.  We see in the first sin (original sin). 

God gave Adam and Eve one commandment.  Do not eat the fruit of one particular tree.  It should not have been hard to follow.  There was plenty of other fruit to it.  Yet they ate the forbidden fruit.

Why?  Adam tells God he ate it because the woman whom God put there gave it to him.  The blame game begins.  Adam blamed the woman.  Adam even blames God for putting the woman there.  The woman blames the serpent. 

Indeed, the serpent tricked them.  Satan loves to distort what God has said.  He wants to make it look like God is hidden something good from us. 

God was not keeping a good fruit from Adam and Eve.  He was protecting them.  God gives us commandments that are good for us. 

We must realize that we do not get to determine what is right and wrong.  Only God can do that.  What we need to do is discern what is right and wrong, applying what has God taught us.

Satan continues to try to distort the truth.  I think Satan loves “relativism” because it teaches that there is no truth.  This opens the door for him to lead us further into sin.

Relativism fits nicely with the “radical individualism” of today.  People claim the right to do whatever they want.  Yes, God gives us free will but He calls us to solidarity.  He calls us to the two greatest commandments, to love God and to love our neighbor.

The call to love stands against radical individualism. 

Jesus speaks of the one who seeks to plunder a property but must first tie up the strong man. 

Satan seeks to ruin the truth of our Catholic faith.  To do so, he must silence (tie-up) those who speak the truth.

This is why those who reject God’s teachings seek to silence us.  It makes it for them to get what they want.

I wonder why, if they are so sure they are right, why they bother to silence us.  Is it because they know we are right?

They will use statements like “the church should stay out of the bedroom,” meaning that they cast off the 6th Commandment, thou shall not commit adultery, rejecting much, if not all, of our Catholic teaching regarding the proper use of the gift of human sexuality.

They seek to get around the 5th Commandment, thou shall not kill by redefining when life begins and making their own definition of compassion and mercy at the end of life.

What do you think?

Do you want to silence our Catholic Church on teachings that you disagree with or are you willing to listen to what God teaches?  On what grounds do you pick and choose what to believe?  Do you ask why God teaches what He does, why it is good for us?

When we embrace church teaching, we will not win popularity contests in this world.  I’m probably upsetting someone right now. We will face affliction for our faith but the afflicts of this world are momentary and light compared to the “eternal weight of glory” that God has ready for us in Heaven if we keep his commandments.

It is so easy to focus on what is seen in this world but it is only transitory.  Rather, we do well to focus on what is unseen, what God offers   is eternal.  In choosing to follow God’s truth our inner self is renewed. 

Do you not seek Jesus as your brother?  Jesus says, “For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.

Who do you believe?  God or the world and Satan?

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