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Bulletin: June 9, 2024

Background on the Gospel Reading

In the section of the Gospel just before these verses, Jesus calls his Twelve Apostles. Now he performs his first exorcism. It is told within the context of conflict with his family.

A crowd so large has gathered that Jesus and his disciples are not even able to eat their bread. His family comes to take him away because they think he is beside himself. And the scribes think he is possessed by the devil. Jesus points out to them the absurdity of their thinking that he uses the devil to cast out demons. In fact, it is Jesus who ties up the strong man, Beelzebub, and overcomes him.

He concludes with a brief saying about the forgiveness of sins. All sin can be forgiven except for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It’s not known exactly what he means by this. It could be that the only sin that can’t be forgiven is the one that cuts you off from the source of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit.

Mark then brings Jesus’ family back into the picture. They are not presented in a critical light but are just trying to see him. This gives Jesus the opportunity to point out that family for him is not based on blood.

Courtesy of Loyola Press

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