Thursday of the second week in ordinary time


When the gospel Mk 3:7-12 says that a large number of people followed Jesus as he withdrew to the sea, that is a historical fact. History tells that Jesus did attract a large number of followers, and in that time and place drawing that much attention was dangerous. That danger is the reason why Jesus did not want it known he was “the Son of God.” Also this particular reading comes right after Jesus encounters with the Pharisees on the Sabbath and at the synagogue. The crowds he did not leave behind, he did leave behind much of that Pharisee culture and tradition. Forging a new covenant does require a break from the traditions of the past. Attention also might be directed towards the regions his followers are coming from. Judea is Jewish. Galilee is a mixture of Jew and Hellenic Gentiles,Tyre was never part of Jewish tradition and they had a prosperous couture of their own.His audience extends beyond Jerusalem and the members of the old covenant.This new audience brings both their own illnesses, and I have to think their own virtues. Why is that important? I think the varied cultures and people Jesus speaks too emphasizes that his message is not directed at Jerusalem, but it is directed at mankind. His message is both challenged by all people, and is relevant to all. The first reading  Heb 7:25—8:6 opens with “Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through him,since he lives forever to make intercession for them.” It says he offers salvation to those  who approach Him. He does not only save those of a particular denomination, or social status, or those deemed worthy of salvation. Jesus’s message is for all mankind.

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