Bulletin: June 10, 2018
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus longs for us to belong to one family in him, through baptism. Today’s readings look at three blessings provided by membership in God’s family: understanding, permanence, and hospitality. In Genesis, Adam and Eve, filled with shame, hide from God. God finds them, of course, and sees deep into their hearts. Before God discusses their disobedience, God shows understanding and tenderness by banishing the creature most responsible for their sin: the serpent. God always understands and protects the members of God’s family. This protection does not prevent suffering on earth, but, as Saint Paul explains to the Corinthians, guarantees our permanent, glorious happiness in heaven. Today’s Gospel reminds us that God wants to welcome all of us into that glory. Breaking all barriers, Jesus assures us he heartily welcomes all who love and follow him. God’s family welcomes, understands, and offers eternal life.
MAMA GRIZZLY BEAR
More than any mama grizzly bear, God is ferociously protective of us. Certainly Adam and Eve must accept the consequences for their bad behavior, but God lashes out first and foremost at the serpent, the one who caused them to sin. God is fair, and God is tender. “As a mother comforts her child,” says the Lord, “so I will comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13). Knowing God’s protective love for us, we can echo today’s Psalm 130 whenever we confront distress: “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice!” Even if, like Adam and Eve, we cause our own suffering, we believe God will always show both might and mercy if we turn to the Lord for help and comfort.
The Corinthians knew what it was like to experience distress and suffering, much of which they caused themselves. Their Christian community, founded not twenty years after Jesus’ death, faced heart-wrenching disagreements and scandalous behavior. To encourage them, Saint Paul wrote that their “momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” Saint Paul does not deny their suffering. He does not pretend being a Christian is easy. Instead, he invites the Corinthians to accept their difficulties and put them in perspective: the heaviest burden on earth weighs nothing compared to the mighty glory God has prepared for us in heaven. Living with this perspective makes us prophets. A prophet speaks God’s truth to the world and points God’s people back to the Lord. When we live in prophetic hope, believing in God’s eternal glory, we remind the world of God’s mighty, merciful plans for humanity. Like Saint Paul, we can encourage others to endure suffering bravely and not to grow weary doing God’s will. Jesus promises that if we do the will of God, we are his “brother and sister and mother.” We are his family. And he always protects his family.
Today’s Readings: Gn 3:9–15; Ps 130:1–2, 3–4, 5–6, 7–8; 2 Cor 4:13–5:1; Mk 3:20–35