10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B ~ JUNE 9, 2024

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B ~ JUNE 9, 2024



The last few weeks we have been reflecting on various Solemnities of the Lord to understand our relationship with him and our faith as well. These solemnities really help us to deepen our faith and commitment to the Lord to serve him without partiality. Why did I choose the above title for my reflection? There are four reasons, I believe after reflecting on the Readings of this week, led me to choose. These four reasons will help us to understand the division within our families, societies, countries, and faith leads us to destruction and self-centeredness but on the other unity brings comfort, joy and happiness. Following are the reasons:

First, disobedience causes division as we could see in the First Reading today. Adam and Eve have disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit of the tree they were told not to. We could also see the self-centeredness of them because they wanted to be like God as trapped by the Satan. St. Peter warns us with these words “Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, steadfast in your faith”. When Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, they were not yet mortal. In this state, “they would have had no children”. There was no death. They had physical life because their spirits were housed in physical bodies made from the dust of the earth. They had spiritual life because they were in the presence of God. They had not yet made a choice between good and evil.

God commanded them to have children. He said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over every living thing that moves upon the earth.  God told them they could freely eat of every tree in the garden except one, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Of that tree God said, In the day you eat, you shall surely die.

Satan, not knowing the mind of God but seeking to destroy God’s plan, came to Eve in the Garden of Eden. He tempted her to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He assured her that she and Adam would not die, but that they would “be like God, knowing good and evil”. Eve yielded to the temptation and ate the fruit. When Adam learned what had happened, he chose to partake also. The changes that came upon Adam and Eve because they ate the fruit are called the Fall. Because Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the Lord sent them out of the Garden of Eden into the world. Their physical condition changed as a result of their eating the forbidden fruit. As God had promised, they became mortal. They and their children would experience sickness, pain, and physical death.

Because of their transgression, Adam and Eve also suffered spiritual death. This meant they and their children could not walk and talk face to face with God. Adam and Eve and their children were separated from God both physically and spiritually. The Satan sold what was pleasing to the ears and eyes of Adam and Eve and convince them to believe what he is telling is the only truth.

Once a monk was going somewhere. On his way he saw a merchant going with five donkeys carrying bags which looked too heavy for donkeys to carry. He asked the merchant, “What have you kept in these bags, which these poor donkeys are not able to carry?” The merchants replied “These bags are filled with things of human use. I am going to market to sell these”.

Monk said, “What things are filled in these bags?”

Merchant, “First donkey you see is loaded with bags of atrocities/torture.”

Monk asked. “But who will buy this?

Merchant, “it’s buyers are ruling people, and it is sold at a very high rate.”

Monk, “How about the second bag?”

Merchant, “This bag is full of pride and it’s buyers are scholars.”

Monk, “And third bag?”

Merchant, “It contains jealousy, and it’s customers are rich people who can not tolerate other people’s success. Lots of people buy this.”

Monk, “I am curious to know about the fourth bag being carried by the donkey.”

Merchant, “this bag contains dishonesty, it’s buyers are those businessmen who makes profit by dishonesty and cheating. There are always many buyers ready for this.”

Monk, “What is loaded on the last donkey?”

Merchant, “Bag on this donkey is full of fraud and people who do not do any work and do frauds to cheat people, buy this.

Monk realized that the merchant was the devil himself who was spreading evils in the world and his victims become selfish people with weak mentality. There is only one way to avoid becoming a victim of the devil, that by keeping true faith in God, try to make you mind a temple of God.

Even in the Gospel Reading we could see people are accusing Jesus and relating him with the devil by refusing to acknowledge signs of his power shown in the healing of people. Disobedience in word is pure division between us and God who so generous in his dealing with us to show his steadfast love. If we want unity, then we must have strong relationship in with him.

Secondly division in our relationship with one another and God creates a huge gap, but we should not forget that “in weakness, grace of God is seen more”. The dialogue between God and Adam and Eve is one step further to understand how important unity is. We must learn to be one with God (Please John 17a prayer for unity) to feel his presence and closeness in our day to day life. Some people believe Adam and Eve committed a serious sin when they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, latter-day scriptures help us understand that their Fall was a necessary step in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us. Because of the Fall, we are blessed with physical bodies, the right to choose between good and evil, and the opportunity to gain eternal life. None of these privileges would have been ours had Adam and Eve remained in the garden. After the Fall, Eve said, “Were it not for our transgression we never should have had children, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient. And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed, he would not have fallen but he would have remained in the Garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created. And they would have had no children; therefore, they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knows all things. Adam fell so that men might be and men are, that they might have joy.

Although Adam and Eve are blaming each other and Satan but through their sin of disobedience, we received the greatest promise of our salvation that is “a woman will be chosen to have God’s Son”. St. Paul reminds with these words “through one man’s sin the death entered into the world but then through another man’s death we all have share in his victory over death”. In the Second Reading St. Paul helps us to believe and speak what is right for us because our unity will always help us to better and mutual relationship with him. We must learn first how to let our division and problem go.

A man’s favorite donkey falls into a deep precipice. He can’t pull it out no matter how hard he tries. He therefore decides to bury it alive. Soil is poured onto the donkey from above. The donkey feels the load, shakes it off, and steps on it. More soil is poured. It shakes it off and steps up. The more the load was poured, the higher it rose. By noon, the donkey was grazing in green pastures. After much shaking off (of problems) And stepping up (learning from them), One will graze in GREEN PASTURES.

Thirdly I believe there will be no division if we consider ourselves as God’s family which “do not lose heart, even outer self is wasting away”. Even in the Gospel Reading we could see how Jesus after receiving the message that your family is looking for you, he says “who are my mother, and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “here are my mother, and my brothers! whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother”. I would say this is very wide and bold statement of the Lord. His vision of family is way wider than our human understanding because calling us his brothers and sisters, he is conforming his love and peace with us. What do we need in our families? We want to see love, respect and support which will always help our families to be strong. This is the only scene in Mark’s gospel where Jesus’ family feature. Reference is made to Jesus’ mother, brothers and sisters. There is no reference to Jesus’ father. Joseph never appears in the context of Jesus’ public ministry in any of the gospels. This may suggest that Joseph was already dead by the time Jesus began his public ministry at the age of thirty or so. It seems as if the family of Jesus on this occasion want to take Jesus away with them; this was their will. Yet, Jesus does not go with them. Instead, he declares that his disciples seated in a circle around him are his new spiritual family. Anyone who seeks to do God’s will as Jesus’ reveals it can become a member of this new spiritual family. It must have been a struggle for Jesus’ blood family to let him go to this new family he was forming, the family of his disciples, which came to be called the church. We have been baptized into this family. As members of Jesus’ spiritual family, we are called to do the will of God as Jesus has revealed it to us, through his teaching, his life, his death and resurrection. We spend our lives trying to discern what the Lord’s will for our lives is, and then trying to grow in the freedom to do that will. For Jesus’ mother and his family, doing God’s will entail renouncing control over Jesus, letting go of their own will for him, which did not come easy to them. Doing the will of God does not come easy to us either. Yet, with the help of the Holy Spirit, our will can be gradually conformed to God’s will for our lives. This is the journey we are asked to be faithful to until the end of our earthly lives.

Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed. Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”


“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied. Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked. He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity the boiling water.

However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.

Fourthly division leads to destruction but unity toward joy, happiness and fulfilment. We are called to build the bridges not the walls to help people to enjoy the unity. Now-a-days we could see people are divided based on race, colour, religion and ethnic background. Similar situation St. Paul faced in the church of Corinth “And so, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.  I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations?  For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each.  I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters are anything, but only God who gives the growth.  The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each.  For we are God’s servants, working together; you are God’s field, God’s building.

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.  Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done.  If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward.  If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.

 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the futureall belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God (I Corinthians 3:1-21).

Today we need to remove obstacle which hinders our unity with God and creates division.

There once was a very wealthy and curious king. This king had a huge boulder placed in the middle of a road. Then he hid nearby to see if anyone would try to remove the gigantic rock from the road.

The first people to pass by were some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers. Rather than moving it, they simply walked around it. A few loudly blamed the King for not maintaining the roads. Not one of them tried to move the boulder.

Finally, a peasant came along. His arms were full of vegetables. When he got near the boulder, rather than simply walking around it as the others had, the peasant put down his load and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. It took a lot of effort, but he finally succeeded.

The peasant gathered up his load and was ready to go on his way when he saw a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The peasant opened the purse. The purse was stuffed full of gold coins and a note from the king. The king’s note said the purse’s gold was a reward for moving the boulder from the road.

The king showed the peasant what many of us never understand: every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

Do we want division or unity in our life?