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Tenth Sunday - Year B

Sunday, 10 June, 2018
Mark 3:20-35

The Word of God this Sunday, the Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, invites us to meditate deeply on how precious we are to our eternal Father, and on the absolute necessity of humbly accepting his outstretched saving hand which brings us to life, and to life to the full and without end.

In the first reading from the book of Genesis we hear part of the ancient story of Adam and Eve.  We know, of course, that this story is not meant to be understood as a record of history or of mere journalistic facts; rather we are meant to hear the story as a work of divinely-inspired art and literature which reveals a much deeper kind of truth and fact about who we are, and what the meaning and purpose of our existence is.

In this part of the story we are called to meditate on how Godlike we are in many ways.  We are created in God’s image, created to love like God, and created to be eternal like God.  However, there is one very important way in which we are not like God.  Only by God can good be known and evil be recognised.  It is not for us to pronounce on holiness, or say that evil can be good or that good can be evil.  Only God is all good and all-holy.  Everything else in time and space is either good or evil insofar as it is in harmony or disharmony with God’s holiness.  God’s very self and being is the measure by which good and evil can be known.  What is evil is always evil.  What is good is always good.  Evil cannot be made good or acceptable by the media, the Government, political parties or even by a referendum.

When we recolour evil and make all sorts of exemptions and excuses for it, in any area of life, and when we call it reasonable or modern or even good, then we are making Gods of ourselves and denying Lordship to the Blessed Trinity, to the Father, revealed by Jesus, in the Holy Spirit.  This is the worst sin of all, the shocking ‘eternal sin’ that Jesus in today’s Gospel of Mark refers to as a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

However, the second reading today - from the second letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians - is full of consolation; and the incredibly good news that all the ruinous damage of this ancient, core, recurring,  and ‘original’ sin - of appropriating to ourselves what belongs only to God, that is, of delineating what is good and what is evil - can be remedied through faith in Jesus Christ.

By humbly ‘grafting’ ourselves into Jesus by faith, hope and love, all of our various refusals to God’s will and God’s word can be subsumed and incorporated into his perfect Yes to the Eternal Father which he uttered with all his being upon the cross of Calvary, and which is renewed and made present for us all to ‘re-graft’ ourselves into, upon the altar of Holy Mass today and every day.

- Fr Conor Cunningham