Crisis in a Household: Coping with division
10th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
How to justify the present hurts? “Everything was sweet till all of the sudden I feel hatred from his face. He doesn’t want to see me anymore. Where have I gone wrong?” The very words used in ‘fallen stars’, year 1285, to describe the broken relationship. There are times when you hear the well known voice and hide yourself for shame. Trust disappears from your face, smile is stolen and you also change your direction. The bond is now sick and the hurt is grave.
After being saved from slavery, the people traced back the cause of their disobedience and unfaithfulness; the story of the fall of the first parents was responsible for division in the household. The first fall sets a pattern of predictable behaviours. *Adam hears* the voice God in the garden; *he feels guilty* for what he has done; *he runs and hides himself* because *he is afraid*. (Genesis 3:9-11)
God looks for the root of the unhealthy behaviour that set division in the happy family of the garden. The breach in God-man relationship is caused by an outsider. The chain of accusers goes back to the serpent, the outsider who divides. God condemns the fall, he curses the serpent but he still wants to save the relationship: “The child of the woman will strike your head, serpent! And you will strike his heel.” (Cf. Genesis 3:12-15) Once the relationship is broken, trust is no more and shame is enthroned but all is not over. Love is still.
We also believe, and so we speak that everything is for your good, for the grace of God to increase in you. So we must not lose heart. Our external bonds are broken but our internal bonds are renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure. If your earthly tent and bonds are destroyed, you have a building from God, a household not made with hands to welcome you. (Cf. 2 Corinthians 4:13 – 5:1)
Where have things gone wrong that after leaving home for a while, Jesus returns home speaking against the tradition and people crowding around him? The conclusion sounds logical: “what has happened to him over there? He has gone out of his mind. He is possessed. Let us bring him home to recuperate him.” (Cf. Mark 3:20-22)
Jesus’ relatives could not accept that the one they have lived with for 30 years sets himself against the tradition they carefully handed over to him. His family wants to bring him home to knock some sense into his head. But Jesus wants to keep the new order of things; so he defines his new family. 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." (Cf. Mark 3:23-35)
Jesus does not waste time on the fact that he was rejected and misunderstood even by relatives. His philosophy is very appealing; it is translated in words: _“I don’t know where things went wrong. I will not focus on those who run away from me. I define my new relatives. If you reject me I get other people around me.”_ The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. I call on anyone willing to have fellowship with me, for I must celebrate this great event. (Cf. Matthew 22:1-10)
If you want to mend your broken relationship that was caused by rejection, you might spread your wounds. New relations will get your wound healed slowly. What can you do if the foundations are destroyed?" (Psalms 11:3) If God should mark iniquities, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with God. So wait and hope for your love who has gone astray; your loved one will recuperate. (Psalms 130:3-5) Define your new family bonds with new people who welcome you.
Fr. Simon, SMA