A reflection for the tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Angelo Kurbanali reflects on the readings for June 9, 2024.
Catholic Voices

Readings (Year B):

Genesis 3:9 – 15
Psalms 130:1 – 2, 3 – 4, 5 – 6, 7 – 8
2 Corinthians 4:13 – 5:1
Mark 3:20 – 35

Reflection: In God there is always mercy

My teenage students often ask me if there’s any sin God can’t forgive. They’re very aware of this saying that comes out of this week’s gospel, where Jesus essentially says, “all sins will be forgiven, but the person who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit is guilty of an eternal sin and can never have forgiveness.” It makes me wonder though: Why do they have this obsession with trying to find something that God can’t forgive? Perhaps it’s their curiosity, wanting to disprove that such a loving and merciful God exists. Or maybe, in their developing minds, they’d like to know exactly what not to do so that they can make their way into an afterlife paradise.

Sadly, it seems many of us never grow out of this notion. It seems we believe that as human beings we’re so depraved, or so flawed, that there must be something that falls outside of the scope of God’s mercy. Today we see it in Genesis, where God is calling out to the man, whom we typically know as Adam; he in turn responds to God by saying he hid because he was naked and afraid. From there, it devolves into this blame game between the man, the woman (who trusted God enough to admit to her fault) and the serpent. This story is traditionally known as the story of the fall. Humanity fell out of the state of God’s grace. God must have been heartbroken.

And yet, God’s heartbrokenness never devolves into bitterness or unforgiveness, especially if we’re to trust the words of the psalmist, whose refrain repeats the fact that “with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.” Even in our darkest depths, we can cry to God, and God will hear our voice. God’s ears are attentive to our pleading. We know this, because, as Paul says in the extract from 2 Corinthians, “we believe and we speak with the same spirit of faith that is mentioned in scripture, knowing that God who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn.” And our turn is right now; our turn is today, as we experience in this gospel reading. Jesus makes a way for us to do away with our internal divisions by calling us his family. By doing the will of God, we become mother, brother, and sister of Christ.


But what is the will of God? From this reading, it’s drawing near to Christ, sitting in a circle around him, being in union with him: that’s the will of God. Based on these readings, the story of the fall isn’t what defines us. God reveals Godself as nothing less than mercy. The only blasphemy our merciful God can’t forgive is that when we fall from grace, and we hide, instead of getting back up and sitting in union with Christ. But there’s always hope, because God, who is love and mercy, calls to us by name, waiting patiently for us to respond.

About the author

Angelo Kurbanali

Angelo Kurbanali is a creative and theologian from Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean. He attended Barry University in Miami, Florida, where he studied art and fell in love with theology, so he studied that too.

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