Deacon Bob’s Homily for the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2024

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Gen 3:9-15; 2 Cor 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35

June 8/9, 2024

I’d like to speak about the danger of divisions. This is something I think Jesus is addressing in the Gospel today, something about which He had some rather strong words, so much so that people thought he had lost his mind. (I hope you don’t think I have gone crazy at the end of this homily and call my family to come and cart me away like they did with Jesus!) Division is something about which I am very concerned, because I see it everywhere, and I know the damage it is doing to not only to the world in a general sense, but also to the lives of individuals in a particular sense.

I think that divisions are evil and the work of the Evil One. Mind you, I said divisions, not diversity or distinctions or differences. Diversity and distinction and differences can be very good things. They can help us understand things and in the long run bring about unity, not division. For instance, it is impossible to know wrong unless you know right. We cannot really know man unless you know woman. You cannot know hard unless you know soft, and so on. Diversity and distinction and differences can unify us if we embrace them in faith, and not despise and misuse them in faithlessness.

No, Jesus today is talking about divisions AND he is talking about what unifies us. Let’s look first at how divisions have infected our lives, and then look at what unifies us.

What are some of the divisions?

Social: There is no need or desire to delve into all this. Suffice it to say, we all know well the reality of divisions in our country and the level of violence it has created. What used to be political and social diversity and distinctions and differences that led to increased understanding of the issues at hand, and resolution of those issues, nowadays has become a divisive stalemate, and incapacity of resolving pressing issues. This is the work of the Evil One, I believe.

Religious: How tired I am of being confronted over and over again with the divisions within the Church. “Traditional” against “progressive” as one example. Renegade priests against their bishops. Liturgical rigidity and liturgical laxity. We are all Catholics! There is only one body of Christ. Enough, I say, to all this! I find it scandalous.

Family: Divorce, aborting children, estrangement one from another, unhealed hurts and wounds, abandonment of our elderly, and euthanasia. These divisions are perhaps the worst evils we face.

Personal: Is your heart divided? Are you living in doubt and fear?

Satan wanted Adam and Eve to be divided from God. He wants the same for us. Satan knows so much depends on the family, so he attacks the family. Satan wants to divide in the Church, so he attacks the Church. Satan wants to create division in our hearts, so he attacks with doubts and anxiety. Satan so much wants to divide that he causes his own downfall, as Jesus tells us. He is addicted to sinful divisions.

Here is the good news. Jesus said, “[If] Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him.” (Mark 3:26) The good news is Satan is so intent on creating divisions and evil that he defeats himself. He’s like someone who is so compulsive that despite all its negative consequences, that person simply cannot quit doing whatever it is he is compelled to do even if it kills him. 

Here is more good news. Jesus himself said today that there is unity among those who do the will of God, and all who do his will are his one family. Divisions come from faithlessness; unity from faithful obedience to God’s will.

More good news: St. Paul said today that we all have the same spirit of faith and we know that the One who raised Jesus from the dead will raise us also. Grace is bestowed in abundance on more and more people and this glorifies God, so we should never be discouraged. That even if our earthly dwelling should be destroyed, we have a building from God that is indestructible. Jesus Christ is victorious and heals divisions, removes sin, cast out the Evil One, and brings about unity.

Each time we are tempted to do or say something that divides, let us take heed and be cautious.

I would close with a quote from today’s responsorial psalm, which says, “I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in his word. More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord, for with the Lord there is kindness and with him plenteous redemption; and he will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.


About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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