10th Sunday in Odinary Time, 10 June 2018
Today’s Gospel reading from Mark lays out before us three separate groups of people who have come together because of Jesus’ presence amongst them: members of Jesus’ immediate family, critics and enemies who would like to catch Jesus in wrong doing or breaking a law which could cause his arrest, and a group (which includes disciples—identified as those who are sitting at his feet and seated in a circle around him) who favourably support Jesus and are very interested in hearing what he has to say. In such a diverse gathering Jesus preferred to speak in parables (the Greek word being “parabole” translated as “a setting aside,” as comparison or analogy; which Jesus preferred to use in communicating with his critics and could at the same time reveal for his followers and disciples very important information that would not be discerned by others). Paraboles were actually first used by Mark in this particular Gospel account.
And what an account of which to write: members of Jesus’ family have arrived to escort him back home—concerned for his mental state—critics and enemies desiring to snare Jesus in a trap, and true followers and disciples yearning greatly to hear the Good News and converse with their teacher, preacher, and friend. You can almost feel the tension, excitement, and energy in this unidentified space. And in the middle of it all, the serene and very much in control Jesus of Nazareth opening the discussion to help reveal for those who truly cared, the Kingdom of God.