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June 7, 1991     The Message
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June 7, 1991 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Commentary DONALD DILGIK I i The family of Jesus: Scribes from Jerusalem Gospel Commentary for Sunday, June 9, 1991,Tenth Sunday in ordinary time, Cycle B. Mark 3:20-35 The narrative begins with a brief note that Jesus went into a house. The crowd was so huge and the demand on Jesus' time so great that he had no time to eat. His relatives heard about Jesus' activities. They set out to grab him because "they said he was out of his mind." This is one of the stranger incidents in Mark's gospel. Even though Matthew and Luke use Mark's material before and after this incident, they totally omit this reference to Jesus' family and their suspicion that he was out of his mind. Mark does not include material for the sake of biography. Every story has a teaching value. We like to think that the attitude of Jesus' rela- tives is not historical, but it may well be. Neither does the Gospel of John speak well of Jesus' rela- tives, while Mark, Matthew and Luke all depict Jesus being rejected by his hometown of Nazareth. Whether the attitude of Jesus' relatives about his mental state is historical or not, Mark includes it because it fits into a major theme of his gospel, that Jesus was misunderstood and re- jected by all. Even the last sentence of Mark ex- presses the theme of rejection. The next ones to reject Jesus now come upon the scene. It is an official delegation of scribes from Jerusalem. Each of our four gospels has fa- vorite enemies of Jesus. For Mark, they are the scribes, the official interpreters and teachers of the Scriptures. They have a diagnosis for Jesus' supposed madness, that Jesus is possessed by a demon or Satan, and that his healings of the sick: are a result of the power that comes from that possession. Jesus refutes their accusation by pointing out that his healing the sick, whichis a defeat of Satan, could hardly be attributed to Satan. If Satan was the source of healing, he would be defeating himself. Mark then adds his own commentary or opinion of the scribes. Jesus ominously states that all sins can be forgiven, but those who sin against the Holy Spirit are guilty of an eternal sin. The probable meaning of a sin against the Holy Spirit is to attribute to an evil spirit the work of the Holy Spirit. For the most part com- mentators explain the eternal character of this sin as final unrepentance of such a sin. Above all the statement serves as Mark's opinion of the scribes, the chief enemies of Jesus in this gospel during the ministry. The family of Jesus now arrives, "his mother and brothers," says Mark. They send a message through the crowd that they want to talk with him: "Your mother and your brothers are out side, asking for you." The next statement of Jesus has never ceased to amaze: "Who are my mother and my brothers?" Then he looked at those who sat around him, probably his disciples, and said: "Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister and mother." "Brothers" may cause Catholic readers some problems as it has throughout the history of the text due to the Cathol tradition of the perpetual virginity of Mary. Two theories have been pro- posed. The "brothers" are sons of Joseph by a previous marriage or biblical terminology allows for the term "brothers" to be used of close rela- tives who are not siblings. Whatever the opinion of a reader may be, we must add that the virigin- ity of Mary is not based on Marcan texts. It is based on the infancy gospels of Matthew and Luke. Both affirm the virginity of Mary up to the birth of Jesus. For various reasons Catholic tradi- tion proclaimed her virginity to be perpetual. To return to the seeming rejection of his family by Jesus -- Jesus is told that his mother and brothers wish to see him. His response is to point to those sitting around him, his disciples, as his brothers, sisters and mother. This seems harsh. Luke thought so too and in his own gospel he changed the response of Jesus to mak:e it an acceptance rather than a rejection of Jesus' family. For Mark the response of Jesus may be one of several possibilities. It can be his honest opin- ion of Jesus' relatives. It can be part of his' rejec- tion theme, that even his family did not under- stand Jesus and this was the response to their opinion that he was out of his mind. Finally, the response of Jesus can be historical. In this case it would mean that nothing, not even family, can keep Jesus from the work: which he came to do. If his family could not understand that, they must stand aside. They are not excluded from discipleship, but to be a disciple of Jesus is more important than blood relationship. As Luke would say it when a woman praised Mary for being Jesus' mother: "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and do it." In Luke's gospel Mary becomes Jesus' first disciple with the words: "Be it done to me according to your word." Other readings for Sunday, June 9, 1991: Genesis 3:9-15; H Car 4:13-5:1 I I I I Pope names 22 cardinals, only one 'surprise' Bu MARK PATTISON Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- 29, There was only one big sur- prise when Pope John Paul II named 22 new cardinals May and that was his an- , ,, 1 ! [ r i Ii Peoples Trust Company 59 SOUTH MAIN STREET P.O. BOX 191 LINTON, INDIANA 47441 I II I EVANSVILLE SERVICE AND SHOPPING GUIDE FOR THE BEST PLUMBING SERVICE RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL (FREE ESTIMATES) GRANT PLUMBING CO. 484 S. GOVERNOR AT CANAL Ph. 424-2441 ii i Spaldings Food Land 2100 Stringtown 1713 E. Morgan 411 S. 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ANTHONY during his pontificate. When he named names this time, including those of two Americans, Pope John Paul II revealed that Bishop Ignatius Kung Pin-reel of Shanghai had been a cardinal "in pec- tore" since 1979. The 89- year-old cardinal-designate will be formally installed with the 22 new nominees at a consistory scheduled for June 28. The two new American car- dinals are Archbishop Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles and Archbishop Anthony J. Bevilacqua of Philadelphia. JASPER SER VICE AND SHOPPING GUIDE i Buehlers I.G.A. "THE THRIFTY HOUSEWIFE'S SOURCE OF SAVINGS" QUALITY FOODS and MEATS Al=o Himbuqi and O,dmd Oty KREMPP LUMBER CO. WHOLESALE BUILDING MATERIAL DISTRIBUTION & GENERAL CONTRACTING YARD CONSTRUCTION 482-1961 482-6838 JASPER i BECHER & KLUESNER FUNERAL HOME Downtown Chapel, 214 E. 7th North Chapel,  Newton SUBSCRIBE TO THE MESSAGE JASPER LUMBER CO. 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