Find the readings here:
The first reading (Gen3:9-15) is about God confronting Adam and Eve because they had disobeyed Him. It is an explanation of the evil and things that go wrong in creation; it is like stories found among other nations as well. The tempter is humiliated and forewarned that eventually humanity will overcome evil. It has been read by Christians to allude to Jesus the son of Mary who will be the ideal human to start this process of overcoming evil. And we know from our experience that it is a long and tedious process but one in which we must all try to play our part – till all will be fulfilled in the end.
The second reading (2 Cor 4:13-5:1) is a great comfort after the realisation that the world and we ourselves are still not free of all wrongdoing and evil. Paul has this comforting vision that – eventually – we and all people will join in the life of God that we Christians recognise as as the divine/human life of Jesus, now having live here is in the glory of heaven – yet also of course with us in our struggles here and now. These thought might remove and depression caused by the meaning of the first reading.
The Gospel from Mark 3, is made up of several distinguishable sections. After he returns home with his following, the worry from his own that he is ‘losing it.’ Then the charge from the Jerusalem scholars that he is possessed; followed by two illustrative responses from him in the form of parables. And the passage ends with a final remark that such an accusation is unforgivable. It is clear that Jesus is now popular and that (like some others) had been responsible for some miracles. Matthew and Luke when writing their gospels had access to the text of Mark as well as other sources, but it is quite noticeable that the first section of our Gospel reading today is not used by either Matthew or Luke. It is this short section that tells of the relationship at this point in time between ‘his own folk’ and He Himself – being accused of ‘beside himself.’ I would say that it most likely is a true representation of their attitude but it is also understandable how how the other gospel writers didn’t want to expose this – the group would have included his close followers and friends as well as his mother. As good news this part of the gospel can tell us that sometimes what is right can seem quite ‘uncomfortable’ to say the least.