In the readings for Sunday, June 10, we’re reminded of the divisive nature of sin.
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
We have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.
Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
“And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”
You can read the full text of this Sunday’s readings here:
The devil’s greatest tool is division. If we can be separated from the unity with God and one another that God intends for us, we can become vulnerable and easily manipulated. As we heard two weeks ago, God is a community of love who made us for community also. In the story of the fall of humanity, of which we have an excerpt in today’s first reading, we see the immediate consequences of sin—blame and isolation. God asks what happened, and everybody starts passing the buck. Adam and Eve’s paradise is now marred by blame, shame and separation from one another, God and creation.
Paul reminds us to put our hope in the Resurrection, encouraging us with the knowledge this current state of brokenness is not permanent. God’s saving power, God’s restorative power remakes us in baptism and in our resurrection when we move from this temporary life to the next. He reminds us, too, that the Spirit that God gives all of us unites us with God and one another.
In the Gospel, we see an interesting moment in Jesus’ life. He goes home and isn’t welcomed very nicely. His own family plots to silence him because they are upset by his speaking God’s word. He is accused of being possessed by the devil. He tells us that “a house divided cannot stand.” He’s referring to the devil at the moment, but he’s also talking to his accusers—we cannot claim to belong to God and then try to isolate one another—nothing shows the nature of sin better than trying to divide people. Jesus says that whoever does God’s work is his family.
Have you ever been left out? How did it make you feel? Have you ever left anyone else out? How do you think it made them feel?
Do I ever try to blame others for my mistakes or bad choices? How does that affect my honor? How does that affect my relationships?
How do I see sin causing isolation in my life? In my family? My community? My country? My faith?
Find an area of your family life that needs some strengthening and work on it.
A little lectio
The ancient practice of prayerfully reflecting on bits of Scripture is known as lectio divina. Want to try it out with your family? Head over to Lectio Divina for Kids to find out how to adapt this prayer practice for your kids.
A little Bible study
Want to do a little Bible study with your kids? Here are some tips:
- During Ordinary Time, the Church pairs the Old Testament and New Testament readings in a way that each sheds light on the other. Ask your kids to look for the common theme connecting the two readings. (Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it is subtle.) How does the “dialogue” between the readings help you understand them better?
- Get a New American Bible, Revised Edition, and take a look at the footnotes for these readings. How do they change your understanding of what is going on?
- Take a look at the context for the readings—what happens before, or after?
- Read the NABRE’s introduction to the book of the Bible that the readings are taken from. How does that help you understand the readings?
- If you don’t have a copy of the NABRE at home, you can view it online at the USCCB website at the Daily Readings web page. (The link will take you to today’s reading; click forward or backward on the dates to get to Sunday’s readings.)
For even more resources for breaking open this Sunday’s readings, head over to The Sunday Website.
The image for Breaking Open the Word at Home is taken from a 17th century illuminated manuscript by an anonymous (but very talented) artist. The text is from the beginning of the Book of Sirach, chapter 1, verses 1-12, which begins: “All wisdom is from the Lord and remains with him forever.”