Liturgy of the Sunday

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Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time


First Reading

Genesis 3,9-15

But Yahweh God called to the man. 'Where are you?' he asked. 'I heard the sound of you in the garden,' he replied. 'I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.' 'Who told you that you were naked?' he asked. 'Have you been eating from the tree I forbade you to eat?' The man replied, 'It was the woman you put with me; she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.' Then Yahweh God said to the woman, 'Why did you do that?' The woman replied, 'The snake tempted me and I ate.' Then Yahweh God said to the snake, 'Because you have done this, Accursed be you of all animals wild and tame! On your belly you will go and on dust you will feed as long as you live. I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; it will bruise your head and you will strike its heel.'

Psalmody

Psalm 129

Antiphon

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,
Lord hear my voice!

O let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleading.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,
Lord, who would survive?

But with you is found forgiveness :
for this we revere you.

My soul is waiting for the Lord,
I count on his word.

My soul is longing for the Lord
more than watchman for daybreak.

(Let the watchman count on daybreak
and Israel on the Lord).

Because with the lord there is mercy
and fullness of redemption.

Israel indeed he will redeem
from all its iniquity.

Second Reading

2 Corinthians 4,13-5,1

But as we have the same spirit of faith as is described in scripture -- I believed and therefore I spoke -we, too, believe and therefore we, too, speak, realising that he who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up with Jesus in our turn, and bring us to himself -- and you as well. You see, everything is for your benefit, so that as grace spreads, so, to the glory of God, thanksgiving may also overflow among more and more people. That is why we do not waver; indeed, though this outer human nature of ours may be falling into decay, at the same time our inner human nature is renewed day by day. The temporary, light burden of our hardships is earning us for ever an utterly incomparable, eternal weight of glory, since what we aim for is not visible but invisible. Visible things are transitory, but invisible things eternal. For we are well aware that when the tent that houses us on earth is folded up, there is a house for us from God, not made by human hands but everlasting, in the heavens.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 3,20-35

He went home again, and once more such a crowd collected that they could not even have a meal. When his relations heard of this, they set out to take charge of him; they said, 'He is 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 drives devils out.' So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, 'How can Satan drive 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 last. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot last either -- it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man's house and plunder his property unless he has first tied up the strong man. Only then can he plunder his house. 'In truth I tell you, all human sins will be forgiven, and all the blasphemies ever uttered; but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin.' This was because they were saying, 'There is an unclean spirit in him.' Now his mother and his brothers 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, 'Look, your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.' He replied, 'Who are my mother and my brothers?' And looking at those sitting in a circle round 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.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

The scribes are worried about the notoriety of this young prophet and worried about what he says so much to consider it necessary to face him directly and reduce him to silence. The accusation is that Jesus is even allied with the "ruler of demons." To be honest, the ridicule of the accusation makes defence easy: "How can Satan cast out Satan?" Jesus replies. The example of the house divided into itself and which cannot therefore avoid ruin is particularly effective. We know well also from personal experience, that those who are too sure of themselves, who trust in their own strength, often underestimate the power of evil and easily succumb to it. With the parable of the strong man, Jesus invites us not to underestimate evil. Evil is really like a strong man who holds our life in his hands. This man is to be bound. The only one who can do it is the young prophet from Nazareth. There is only one sin that the merciful power of God does not include. It is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This sin is not simply a sinful act, like many others, even very serious and terrible, it is much more. It is the desire to estrange from the very mercy of God and to resist with determination His love. In this sense it is not God who drives away the blasphemer, but the latter who rejects His love. And here we clash with the terrible mystery of our freedom that is capable of resisting even God's infinite mercy. And on this frontier perhaps the Lord fights the most difficult of his battles.
Jesus finds himself squeezed between the hard hostility of the scribes and the petty one of his family. They prefer not to enter, and remain "outside", and look for someone to call Jesus and let him come out. "Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you." Jesus' answer is immediate: "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And turning his gaze to those who sit around him, he adds: "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." With unequivocal clarity Jesus determines his true family, which is composed of those who sit around him and listen to him, not blood relatives who are "outside". It is listening with the heart to his word, not the bond of blood, which makes us part of the family of God. In truth, from the beginning God wanted this kind of familiarity. In this sense it is suggestive the biblical image of God walking in the earthly paradise, conversing with Adam and Eve, in the breeze of the day. But that familiarity was broken, precisely, by disobedience to the Word of God. In the Gospel, we could say, the family of the Lord is recomposed, the one God had wanted from the beginning. It is a family that overcomes every barrier and that is able to embrace men and women of every culture, ethnicity, colour and language. It is the family of those who gather around His word; it is our true home, our "house not made with hands, eternal" (2 Cor 5: 1).