In today’s gospel from Mark, Jesus continues his discourse called the Sermon on the Mount. It is from a section of the Sermon which is marked with “you have heard it said… but I say to you…” He is not overturning the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses, but rather he is commenting on their misunderstanding of God’ intent in the gift of the Covenant and the Law. Misunderstanding can be taken as “you have misunderstood all along and each generation just makes it worse” – or – Jesus is telling them to “take the next step in their evolution of understanding the mysteries of God’s intent.”
The gospel for this coming Sunday, the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time ( Year B), is the Markan account of the calming of the storm waters on the Sea of Galilee. This gospel account appears in the context of parables and miracles.
In 4:1-34 Jesus teaches in parables, which keeps those “outside” from understanding (4:11-12), but Jesus “Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.” (4:34). However, we will see that even with the special instructions, the disciples don’t get it. But parables are not the only method of teaching. In 4:35-5:43 Jesus teaches with miracle – stilling the storm (4:35-41); the demonic legion (5:1-20); raising Jairus’ daughter and healing the woman with a flow of blood (5:21-43 – the text for next week). However, following these displays of Jesus’ power, the responses are not positive: Continue reading