RCL Year B Proper 5
Genesis 3:8-15, Psalm 130, 2 Corinthians 4:13–5:1, Saint Mark 3:20-35

The Old Testament Lesson and the Holy Gospel today explain a lot about human nature and the human predicament. When we are strangers to ourselves, strangers to those we love, and strangers even to God, how do these things come to be? And what is the remedy?

You remember in the reading from Genesis that Adam and Eve hide from God; Adam blames Eve for this development; and Eve blames the serpent. They are strangers to themselves and to God. Their ancient foe wedged himself into all of those relationships and undermined those relationships by tempting Adam and Eve to disobedience. And they eat of the forbidden tree, and thus they eat of destructive disobedience.

And where is the remedy for them and for us? When we are divided from ourselves and are divided from God, who is there to heal that division? The answer, of course, is Jesus. In the Gospel, Jesus has been casting out demons, and the Pharisees believe that he does this because he has a demon himself.[1] But he hasn’t. He tells them that Satan cannot cast out Satan and that a divided kingdom cannot stand against itself. It takes God to cast out demons. It takes God to provide the unity that holds against attack. The answer then is the answer now.

You and I are reconciled to ourselves, to each other, and to God by doing the will of God. As Jesus says in the Gospel, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”[2] And everything is in place for us to do God’s will. God has so set things that we have only to do his will to put things right. At most every moment of our lives we have the freedom to choose to do God’s will or not to do it. We return to being the creatures God intends us to be when we do God’s will. May we in every choice we make choose the way of life, and may we be reconciled to God, to each other, and to ourselves.

[1] Saint Mark 3:22.

[2] Saint Mark 3:35.