Reflections on Sunday Readings    

Be a Member of the Spiritual Family of Jesus
Reflections by Fr. Ashok Stephen, OMI

My dear parishioners, we are in the 10th Sunday of Ordinary Time. In today's Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus faces opposition—from the religious leaders and also from His own biological family. They accuse Jesus of being possessed by evil. But Jesus uses this moment to teach them an important lesson about the need to join His Spiritual Family.

In today's 1st reading God confronts Adam and Eve after their disobedience in the Garden of Eden. They had eaten the forbidden fruit, and now they face the consequences. God tells them what will happen because of their actions, but He also gives a promise. This story reminds us that sin always has consequences. When we disobey God, it affects our entire lives. But God's promise of redemption is always available. He never leaves us without hope. In Genesis 3:9-15, God speaks of an offspring who will crush the serpent's head. Despite the first couple's disobedience, there is hope for the future. God's promise shows His love and mercy for the children of His family.

Just the same way as God confronted Adam and Eve who were influenced by evil, in today's Gospel we see Jesus also confronting people who were influenced by evil. But they accused Jesus as the person who was possessed by the devil. By using the parable of the "strong man's house", Jesus made them understand that He is the strong man who does not allow Satan to divide and plunder His house. Jesus clearly told them that the one who plunders everything and divides everybody is Satan—who can not only plunder your house, but also can divide your family. At the end of today's Gospel, Jesus openly invites them to enter God's House and become members of His spiritual family by doing the will of His Father to overcome the power of evil in their lives.

My dear brothers and sisters, Satan can indeed plunder our house and divide our family. You may already be experiencing it sometimes. Just as Satan entered the family of Adam and Eve and destroyed them, it can also destroy ours. Therefore, Jesus invites us to have a united house, and to be strong men and women who will never allow Satan to creep through and plunder it. Jesus also invites us to extend the boundaries of our love and affection to others—to be a part of God's spiritual family which is beyond all our biological ties. We are invited to examine our own understanding of community and spiritual kinship. We are called to embrace our fellow believers as brothers and sisters in Christ, irrespective of our societal or familial divisions.

Last Update: June 10, 2024