Faith Daily | 23 January 2023
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p530
the strength of all those who put their trust in you:
mercifully accept our prayers,
and because through the weakness of our mortal nature
we can do nothing good without you,
grant us the help of your grace,
that in keeping your commandments
we may please you both in will and deed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 3: 22-30
22And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.’ 23And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? 24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.
28 ‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’— 30for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Anne Macronald
It seems that the bulk of Chapter 3 deals with different people reacting to the teaching of Jesus and his assumption of authority.
The Pharisees from Galilee were confused and this feeling led to plotting.
The crowds who continuously followed for healing became frenetic and dangerous. Jesus’ own family were afraid for his sanity and tried to pull him away .
The scribes from Jerusalem heard that a demon-possessed, blind and mute man was healed and judged Jesus to be performing miracles through the power of Satan.
But true followers also showed themselves. Twelve joined together and formed a group, while a bigger crowd more interested in Jesus’ teaching earned the honour of being called his true family.
These encounters give examples of the viciousness and ferocity of the times in which Jesus exercised his ministry. A classic example of character assassination.
Jesus called the accusers to him and spoke in parables. His intention was to invite people into the mystery of his kingdom. He confronted evil by the sheer power of his own truth and love.
I find this a disturbing reading as little has changed in 2000 years.
Character assassination still exists but is exacerbated by the power of social media. The source of much evil lies in the power of cultures to entrap people in attitudes of untruths and disrespect. Let us not earn God’s love or forgiveness, but to believe it and to let it be. To know that God loves every other human person as well.
May we recognise the need to relate to all people and to be open to forgive, both individually and as a society.
FINAL PRAYER APBA p484, Collect Prayer for Lent Two
God of mercy,
you are full of tenderness and compassion,
slow to anger, rich in mercy,
and always ready to forgive:
grant us grace to renounce all evil and to cling to Christ,
that in every way we may prove to be your loving children;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.