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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Today's Gospel - Mark 3:6-12

From the Douay-Rheims Bible

6 And the Pharisees going out, immediately made a consultation with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. 7 But Jesus retired with his disciples to the sea; and a great multitude followed him from Galilee and Judea, 8 And from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and from beyond the Jordan. And they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, hearing the things which he did, came to him. 9 And he spoke to his disciples that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him. 10 For he healed many, so that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had evils.
11 And the unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him: and they cried, saying: 12 Thou art the Son of God. And he strictly charged them that they should not make him known.


Pharisees and Herodians – united for once. What binds them together? They have common interests to protect:

> They both anticipate the arrival of an earthly Davidic messiah.
> They both are against any form of leadership resulting from divine revelation.

If a true God-sent prophet had appeared, it threatened their power, the hold they had on the people and the hold they had on the religious throne of power.

The Pharisees, guardians of the Law of Moses, and the Herodians (followers of Herod, who claims to be a prince of the line of David) get together to plot the demise of the incarnate God/Man, Jesus.

Luckily, Christ is a prophet – no palace, no real possessions, nothing keeping him down. He is the one who hears the voice of God in the wilderness and obeys it, and teaches the same to those who assemble with him.

So what does Christ do? He gets on a boat, and is joined by many people outside the circle of worldly influence who accept not only him, but the theology He is a manifestation of.

Let’s examine the group: Multitude from Galilee – generally poor. Also from Judea (that is Judah) and Idumea (that is Edom) and from Tyre and Sidon (traditionally trade competitors among Judahite monarchy) strangers and pilgrims.

This is a collection of those who would have been the common folk who lived in Jerusalem and the outlying areas ever since the Babylons became part of the life of Judah. The flyover-state people: the masses whose needs are not being recognized or met – who are wounded by the traditional leadership instead of being healed – who are the poor, the immigrants, the ones who have no country to cling to and no civic advocates to speak of.

These people responded to Christ so well, that he had to escape to the open sea FOR HIS SAFETY. Christ finds himself the Lord of a people – kingship was never his aim, but it is how these foreign peoples respond. They have found one with the power of a King to heal, to teach, and most importantly, to command loyalty and undying allegiance. Tolkien reminds us in his classic fiction LOTR concerning the exiled king Aragorn that "the hands of a King are the hands of a healer" which idea has its foundation in the Gospel of Christ.


Fast forward to today: Who are today's Pharisees and Herodians conspiring to terminate the living God? Who are today's leaders - "kings" of ruling the people? If the test of a valid ruler was that he heals his people, which among them would stand?

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