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  • Bill Miller

Scripture Reflection, June 9, 2024, Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Genesis 3:9-15 2 Corinthians 4:13--5:1 Mark 3:20-35

Today's gospel is uncomfortably timely. Jesus is accused of being either crazy or possessed! The kingdom of God that he has been preaching is a kingdom of peace and justice where inclusion reigns over marginalization and “Love one another” is the mandate. ..a message shocking to some of his listeners.

To the charge that Satan is the source of his power, he responds with common sense wisdom: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” And he adds, "If a house is divided against itself that house will not be able to stand.” Wise words.

Division, polarization, seeing others as adversaries leads to weakness in the institution: in a family, in a church, in a congregation, in a country. The reign of God does not require unanimity. It does not require that we all agree. But a “them v. us” mentality that sees those we disagree with not as conversation partners but as adversaries, as “criminals,” as "scum “… breeds the kind of fear and contempt that strikes at the very foundation of the group.

To my ears this gospel observation sounds eerily current. What would Jesus be saying today if he stood on the hillside preaching to a crowd? What would his observations be about the polarization we are experiencing in so many areas? And what about the fear-mongering we hear?

How does that relate to his observation that once a house is weakened by division, then can it be plundered by another? It might be worth asking: who stands to gain by weakness in our institutions today?

by: Pat Schnee

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