Brothers and sisters

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time Yr B

Many did not accept Jesus’ teachings. There were those, who not only did not accept his teachings, but they also believed that Jesus was mentally insane. Amongst these, there were also some of his relatives. There were some who accused Jesus that he was acting in the name of Satan. However, Jesus made this reasoning false, because as he said, who would free people possessed by the devil, if he was working with the devil!

At the end of the Gospel, Jesus’ relatives are mentioned again, including his mother, Mary. We need to understand, that at no time did Jesus want to disrespect his mother, and his relatives. He wanted to show instead, that God loves everyone, the same. We are all part of God’s family and God makes no preference. The Gospel refers to Jesus’ siblings, however one should remember that the culture of the time, referred to relatives, as brothers and sisters. Jesus wants to emphasise that all those who acknowledge God as Father, are brothers and sisters.

Jesus also refers to the forgiveness of sin. We believe that all sin may be forgiven, if we repent. However, Jesus refers to a sin which cannot be forgiven. What is Jesus implying? The sin that Jesus is referring to, “whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin,” is when we renounce God, we turn against him, and we renounce all God’s teachings. In this case we are totally breaking our relationship with God. We do not want to have anything to do with him. How can God, in these circumstances, forgive us? If I am not turning to him, if I am not repenting from my sin, how can God forgive me? It is the Holy Spirit who helps us understand what God is telling us; it is the Holy Spirit who helps us, who gives us courage and knowledge to do what is right and choose what is good. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the strength to make good choices and become more like Jesus. This is the reason why Jesus describes this as a sin against the Holy Spirit.

A reading from the Gospel of Mark (Mk 3, 20-35)

Jesus came home with his disciples. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.” Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder the house. Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.” His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.” But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. Through Baptism we become members of the family of God. Do you feel part of this family? Being part of a family, means that you understand your role and do your duty well. What do you think God is expecting from you now?
  4. To be part of God’s family, we need to do our best to do God’s will. What are you doing as a parent, to help your children do God’s will?
  5. Together with your family find the right time to read this Gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare;
    i. The Bible reading from St Mark (3, 20-35)
    ii. A candle
    iii. Cover the table with a white cloth
    vi. A computer/laptop with the reading and clips
  6. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested)
  7. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  8. Be creative 🙂

Who are the members of your family?

Apart from these (mummy, daddy, brothers, sisters), you also have grandparents, uncles, aunties and cousins. Everyone has a family; some have bigger families than others! There are times when we have friends, whom we love, whom we also consider as being part of our family. Even Jesus had a family, and his family is mentioned in today’s Gospel.

  • We are part of a big family, the family of God
  • Printout
  • Colours and pencils

Our family is a gift from God. God gives us this great gift, so that we have someone to care for us, someone to play with, someone to teach us, someone with whom to enjoy ourselves with. However, we do not always agree on everything. At times we do not love each other, at times we fight.

In today’s Gospel, we heard how Jesus’ family, were not happy with him. We heard that they wanted Jesus to stop teaching. They did not understand what he was saying and what he was doing, and they thought that he was a friend of the devil!

Do you know that apart from the family that you mentioned, you have another family? We are part of the family of God. Do you know who is also part of this family?

Everyone who loves God, and all those who do his will, are part of this big family. In the family of God, there aren’t only people whom we know, but there are many others whom we do not know, people who do not live in Malta, people who live all over the world! Since we are one family, Jesus wants us to love each other; we are to love even those whom we do not know.

What do you enjoy doing with your family?

Do you know what we can do with the family of God?

We all gather in church, to praise, to sing and to pray to God. Sometimes, we talk together after mass, and maybe even have some light refreshments, so that we get to know each other more. We also meet during our catechetical and other parish meetings. All those who love God and do what God wants, are part of this family, so we meet with them everywhere! We meet at school, at the playing ground, in the shops, on the bus. When we grow older, we may also help others. Some visit old people who live on their own, they do errands for them, they spend time with them and there are others who go with the Blessed Host, so that they may receive communion.

Is there something, which you can do to show that you are part of God’s family? (be friends, especially with those who are alone, help in the house, we do not use words which hurt others, we pray for each other….)

Today, we have learnt that God’s family is huge. Have you ever seen a picture of a tree with names on it? We call it a Family Tree. On it we write the names of all the family. In today’s activity, you have a tree with space where to write down names of people who are part of God’s family. Write your name first, then write other names in the circles (you may write down names even on the tree). The names you write, should be of people you know, and who love God.

When you are ready, listen to and sing, God’s family.

Sign of the Cross

Thank you, Lord for my family, thank you for I am also part of your big family. Help me to always show love towards my brothers and sisters. Amen.

Everyone has a family. Even Jesus had a family. Did you every do something which did not please the rest of the family? In today’s Gospel, we are going to hear about some of Jesus’ relatives who were displeased about the way Jesus was behaving.

  • Everyone who does God’s will, is part of God’s family
  • God’s family is also known as the Churc

Printout of today’s activity

  • A4 papers
  • Tape
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper

It is wonderful to have a family, but no family is perfect. At one time or another, everyone will make a mistake. Today, Jesus wants to teach us, that we do not only have one family. We are also part of a bigger family – the family of God. We are all God’s children; therefore, we are all brothers and sister, and Jesus is also our brother. Jesus said, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Do you always agree with how the members of your family behave themselves? Do you always agree with what they ask you to do?

The more we know each other, the more we love each other, the more we are bonded as a family. The same thing happens with the family of God. We also call the family of God, the Church. Jesus tells us that for love and unity, to flourish amongst us, we need to always listen to what God is telling us, we need to allow God work through us.

Did you ever work as a team for a school project? Or maybe did a chore together at home? What was the outcome?

When we work together, there is a better chance of succeeding in whatever we are doing; also, we will do it better and in a shorter time. The same thing happens in the Church. When we work together, we can do great things. What can we do together? How should we behave as members of the same family?

Remember what you have mentioned, because you will use it in today’s activity. Make a paper chain, according to the instructions given. When you are ready, open the chain, and

on each ‘person’ write something that you can do to show that you are a member of God’s family (for example, helping at home, use loving language, bring peace, pray, read the Bible, be friends with those who are alone, share what we have, give to charity…) If you have more examples, than ‘paper people’, add more to the paper chain and fix with tape.

In today’s Gospel, it was mentioned that some of Jesus’ relatives where not agreeing with him. (In the Gospel there is mention of Jesus’ brothers, however, at those times, relatives were referred to as brothers and sisters) They wanted to take him back home, they did not want him to continue with his teaching. They did not understand Jesus. This could also happen to us. When we do what Jesus wants, our friends may not understand us, and some may not wish to be friends with us any longer, they may even make fun of us. This might happen, if for example, before going to school, you go to mass, instead of playing with your friends; or else you do not join your friends when they make fun of a new student coming from a different country, or else they make fun of someone, who cannot talk clearly, because of a condition he has. Although we will be sad at losing our friends, we need to remember the most important thing, that is, to be friends with Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is also mentioned in the Gospel. We need to get used to praying to the Holy Spirit, because it is the Holy Spirit who can give us the courage and strength to behave properly and make good choices.

Sign of the Cross.

Thank you, Lord, that we are part of your family. Help us to obey you, because we know that you want what is good for us. Help us to love others like brothers and sisters, like Jesus our brother, loves us. Holy Spirit, fall on us and help us to always do good choices. Amen.

Listen to and sing, Big family of God, ; although we are all different, God has created us all and he unites us in one big family.

coming soon

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.