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January 22, 2018

Mk 3:22-30

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” And 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 stand.

And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Jesus’ authority

Today’s Gospel is a complicated scene, but essentially Jesus is affirming his own healing power as derived from the Father.  Many people doubted Jesus and his ministry.  Even some of his followers would have been skeptical.  Because their egos were threatened by Jesus and his message, the intellectual, political, and economic elite–the scribes–sought to discredit him.  Jesus’ message didn’t jive with their rigid interpretation of religion, nor was his message of mercy compatible with the operational norms of their culture.  

If you follow the text, you will see that this passage is inserted between writings which convey Jesus’ mercy and his authority.  You are invited to consider, “Do I trust Jesus’ ‘authority’?”  Such a question often elicits doubt, which is quite natural.  We might pray for a greater awareness of the work of Christ in our daily lives.  This grace inevitably arrives.  Perhaps this is the “authority” about which Mark writes.

—Matt Kemper is the Director of Community Service at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.

Prayer

Holy Spirit, come into my heart, and in your power draw it to you.

—St. Catherine of Siena

Please share the Good Word with your friends!

St. Ignatius’s First Principle and Foundation says “The goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God's life to flow into us without limit.” One of the ways in which we respond to the love God has given us is through prayer, not only personal prayer but community prayer as well. The Pastoral Ministry Center invites members of our Strake Jesuit Community to share their prayers with us: their concerns, joys, thanksgivings, so that we may walk with them in all these times of their lives.





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January 22, 2018

Mk 3:22-30

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” And 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 stand.

And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Jesus’ authority

Today’s Gospel is a complicated scene, but essentially Jesus is affirming his own healing power as derived from the Father.  Many people doubted Jesus and his ministry.  Even some of his followers would have been skeptical.  Because their egos were threatened by Jesus and his message, the intellectual, political, and economic elite–the scribes–sought to discredit him.  Jesus’ message didn’t jive with their rigid interpretation of religion, nor was his message of mercy compatible with the operational norms of their culture.  

If you follow the text, you will see that this passage is inserted between writings which convey Jesus’ mercy and his authority.  You are invited to consider, “Do I trust Jesus’ ‘authority’?”  Such a question often elicits doubt, which is quite natural.  We might pray for a greater awareness of the work of Christ in our daily lives.  This grace inevitably arrives.  Perhaps this is the “authority” about which Mark writes.

—Matt Kemper is the Director of Community Service at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.

Prayer

Holy Spirit, come into my heart, and in your power draw it to you.

—St. Catherine of Siena

Please share the Good Word with your friends!