January 24th, 2022

The Gospel according to Mark (Mk 3:22-30)

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.” Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house.  Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Reflection: Growing up in high school I participated on the track team. I know what you’re thinking and “NO”, I wasn’t a runner, I was a shot-putter. Anyway, our track team was like a huge family, and we were one team, one heartbeat and because of that we were very successful.  By the way, Dn. Paul (one of the D5 members) was on my team too.

Now I remember we competed against a certain Catholic school and the team came out separately, warmed up separately, and hung out separately. They were two groups, the Caucasians, and African Americans. That was my first experience of racial segregation, and I was just disgusted by it. I was also bewildered on how a Catholic school would allow this. Ultimately, they were not a very strong team because of their division.

Today, we make decisions that divides us and makes us a weaker team. So, there’s much work waits to be done to repair it. In politics, we’ve separated ourselves. In religion, we tend to believe that we are different therefore, divided but isn’t there only “One God”? In this pandemic we are physically forced to segregate and to be un-social for the sake of our health but it’s not healthy to be without friends. The media promotes athletes, celebrities, and musicians and therefore we idolize them, but they were given a gift from God just like the gifts we received so why are they different? Even when we say the “Pledge of Allegiance”, we are giving hope to each other by saying, “One nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all”.

Hope fills us with the strength to stay present in what’s happening in our lives, to abide in the flow of the compassion no matter what outer storms is occurring in our lives. Hope is always present in us, but we need to surrender and be willing to use it by letting go of everything we are presently clinging to. And yet when we enter it, it enters us and fills us with a quiet strength beyond anything we have ever known. We must re-train ourselves to cherish life on earth and engage with it by focusing our energies on learning to love neighbor, self, earth, and God. We were all created in the “Image and Likeness of God” so we must learn to be “One in Christ”.

[Hope + Love = Joy]

Action of the Day: Seek out those who you separated from, for whatever reason. And rekindle your relationship.

Audio Reflection:

Circa 1977. Can you find Dn. Ray and Dn. Paul?

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