Turning a House into a Home

Turning a House into a Home

The Gospel passage for the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Mark 3:20-35) mentions what is needed, in Jesus’ eyes, to turn a house into a home. 

Jesus came home with his disciples.

Mark 3:20

Jesus and his disciples had been on a mission to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom in many villages and towns. At home, in Capernaum, they were in urgent need of recovering and re-energizing themselves before the next mission. However, the crowds had even more pressing needs: massive needs for healing, for freedom from demonic possessions and the comfort of the good news. Rumors that Jesus was all spent and that he and his disciples did not have adequate time to rest and to eat decent meals was interpreted in two erroneous, self-serving ways.

His relatives, those from his earthly family, concluded that he was out of his mind and, thus, for the sake of the family’s name, they wanted to take him away from his home and into their houses until he could fully recover and readopt their ways. The experts of the law (scribes and scholars) were worried about Jesus’ increasing popularity, influence and fame. Hence, they came up with the easiest verdict of demonic possession which failed to explain all the good deeds done by Jesus as well as the freshness and liberating energy of his message.

Since we are not blinded by jealousy and hatred, like the scribes and the Pharisees, it becomes immediately evident in our eyes that Satan is smart enough not to fight himself. It is true that he creates division and dissension because he is THE liar.

You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 8:44

This is evident already from our first reading (Genesis 3:9-15) as, at the very beginning of history, the serpent created division and dissension between Adam and Eve. Satan can only create and run houses marked by division, dissension, jealousy and disharmony! In contrast, as the strong man that he is, Jesus turns houses into homes of harmony, unity, cooperation, humble service, multiple skills, meritocracy, equality, solidarity, productivity and rejoicing.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, it is time for us to be alarmed by the sort of “house” Satan is turning our country into. He split it down the middle. As it is now, our country is a house unable to stand; ready to collapse at any time. Satan is doing a very effective job: not only is he feeding us outlandish lies, but his minions are deliberately doing violence to sound reason and common sense. It is time to push back resolutely and without fear because his attempts at trumping reality, nature and truth with godless ideologies are bound to fail.

Godless ideologies can prevail for a while only if God is pushed out of our country’s vision. God created us in his image and likeness, either as male or female; there are only two sexes, and they are complementary by design for the sake of new life. Psalm 139 reminds us that our bodies are God’s marvelous handiwork, and he gives each one of us the right body for the right purpose.

You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! 

Psalm 139:13-14

The question anguishing our hearts must be: How can Jesus turn our country into a real home according to the Father’s divine design and intense desire? By being the strong man in a way that we can appreciate only after we are “at home” in his family. And Jesus proves that he is the strong man sent by the Father to defeat Satan at the time he, seemingly, is totally powerless and nailed to a cross! … Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM.” (John 8:28)

At every Holy Mass we, who might be in some ways outside Jesus’ home and family, are offered a chance to be fully inside. Jesus’ home and new family are designed for immortality. It is done by feeding at the Table of his Word and then, at the Table of his Flesh. Immortality in Jesus’ family is achieved first by doing the will of God, daily. “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death. (John 8:51)

The will of God aims at replacing Satan’s lies with adherence to the truth patently visible in nature and in Holy Scripture correctly interpreted by the teaching authorities of the Church. And we can consider ourselves completely inside Jesus’ family if we feed also at the Table of his Flesh. This is the second part of the Holy Mass.

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. (John 6:51)

By feeding on Jesus’ Flesh, we become one with him and we are given the solemn pledge of immortality by becoming ourselves strong men and strong women in ways that the world scoffs at and despises.

But the Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Just as grains of wheat are ground into flour to make a single loaf and grapes are crushed to fill a single Cup, so, in Holy Communion, we too declare to the whole world our willingness to defeat Satan’s falsehoods, divisions, selfishness and hatred by our joyous self-sacrifice in union with Christ for the good of his Body. 

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Written by
Fr Dino Vanin