Paul tells us today that we are always courageous. He explains that we are at home in this world, in the body we have yet we are separated separated from the Lord. Our journey, our walk to a new life is one in faith. Alone we would be like a blind person stumbling along. Yet faith gives us the way and means to travel on in our journey. Faith is what brings us to the Kingdom of God, yet it is not a tangible visible thing. Jesus announced the kingdom of God has come and like our two parables today the seeds have scattered and planted themselves in the ground. Faith tells us that kingdom embraces all and ultimately asks for our accounting. Just as the field of grain was harvested or the mustard seed plant flourished, So too are we called to grow and flourish and produce grain or fruit or bush depending on the seed. Yet, we all know that the faith we have is grounded in the death and Resurrection. The Gifts of the sacraments and the Holy Spirit complete and enable in so many ways the faith we have and light the path or journey we are on. These gifts are the ultimate path and way to follow in our life’s journey.
n the gospel, we see Jesus return to Nazareth. While there, he is surrounded by his followers. When his relatives come and are questioning his actions and mission, he proclaims that they are not his family or brothers or sisters, but rather those who are part of his mission to hear the word of God are his family now. He is not evil or of the devil, for if he was how could the devil drive the devil from a possessed man. It is here he proclaims that all things can be forgiven except one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit. This statement has been much debated as to what is unforgivable. After all God is all loving and forgiving, what would be such he could not forgive. Obviously, it is not something God does to block forgiveness but what the sinner himself, does putting himself above and beyond God himself. He is beyond forgiveness because he sees no need of it or need to acknowledge a God above him. Think of it that we put ourselves as self-contained living our lives as we see fit with no thought or vision or idea of God above. Seem impossible? Look around and see the world today with the allurements of ease and pleasure and it is easy to be drawn away and forgetful of a loving God. We can see that in the first reading and remember, that while that is a story, the evilness it shows and predict is still within our world. Even as we believe, we are reminded that even Jesus was questioned for his ministry when he first returned home. In doing God’s will, he was breaking the traditions of town an family.
It seems throughout all history, human beings always had a sense of a higher power or God or gods to whom they offered worship and sacrifice, especially so that they would have good times in their lives. They would offer up first crops or a lamb or a calf or something of value to them. Sacrifice of animals was common, and was done by the Jews also. In those past times, we must remember that they saw blood as the center and soul of life as without it nothing could live. That is why our first reading is so graphic with Moses taking bowls of blood from the young bulls offered up and splashing half on the altar representing the invisible God and sprinkled the other half on the people .That act was to seal the special bond God had with his people. As you can imagine, sacrificing of animals was a messy thin with he blood and slaughtering of animals.
This brings us to the Last Supper and Jesus shared his last meal with his disciples. He was well aware that this was his last meal and time with his disciples, and knowing that he was about to die and be the one true sacrifice and offering to God in and everlasting covenant, As the Divine and human sacrifice, he gave for all to come a way to share in the sacrifice of his death and resurrection by giving them His Body and His Blood in the form of bread and wine. All generations to come, have the Eucharist as a sign of the covenant sealed and given by Christ. To eat his body and drink his blood might sound strange to some, but it a special food for the journey we all undertake in life and it is nourishment that joins us with the Father and enlivens our life with the Holy Spirit. It unites us all to one another and hopefully leads us to share the love that God has given and continues with the Eucharist and the sacraments. All of our works and sharing should proclaim God’s love and the acclamation: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.’