Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. The Sunday Connection provides 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.


Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Sunday, June 10, 2018


This Sunday’s Readings


First Reading
Genesis 3:9–15
Adam and Eve eat the fruit of the forbidden tree.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 130:1–2,3–4,5–6,7–8 (7bc)
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.

Second Reading
2 Corinthians 4:13—5:1
We believe and so we speak.

Gospel Reading
Mark 3:20–35
Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me.

Background on the Gospel Reading

In the section of the Gospel just before these verses, Jesus calls his Twelve Apostles. Now he performs his first exorcism. It is told within the context of conflict with his family.

A crowd so large has gathered that Jesus and his disciples are not even able to eat their bread. His family comes to take him away because they think he is beside himself. And the scribes think he is possessed by the devil. Jesus points out to them the absurdity of their thinking that he uses the devil to cast out demons. In fact, it is Jesus who ties up the strong man, Beelzebub, and overcomes him.

He concludes with a brief saying about the forgiveness of sins. All sin can be forgiven except for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It’s not known exactly what he means by this. It could be that the only sin that can’t be forgiven is the one that cuts you off from the source of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit.

Mark then brings Jesus’ family back into the picture. They are not presented in a critical light but are just trying to see him. This gives Jesus the opportunity to point out that family for him is not based on blood.


Gospel Reading
Mark 3:20–35
Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me.


Making the Connection (Grades 1, 2, and 3)

Young children know well the security and closeness they feel with their parents, siblings, and extended family. In today’s Gospel, they see that family bonds can extend outside of their home to their relationships within their faith community.

Materials Needed

  • images, cut from magazines or printed from the internet, showing different family groupings

 Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Have children gather in small groups of three or four. Distribute an image to each group. Invite groups to spend a few minutes talking about the families and identifying who they think is pictured in the images. Then have groups share something about their photo with the class. 
  2. As groups are sharing, engage children in a discussion by asking questions related to each photo. For example, after a photo with multiple siblings, ask: How many of you have a brother? How many have a sister? Does anyone have more than one brother or sister? 
  3. After all groups have had the opportunity to share, say: Families are important. Think of all the things your family members do for one another. Ask: What are some ways members of a family can help one another? (Accept all reasonable answers, for example, support each other, do nice things for one another, help with problems.)
  4. Say: In today’s Gospel, Jesus and his friends, the disciples, go back to Jesus’ hometown. There Jesus teaches us an important lesson about family and what it means to follow him.
  5. Read aloud today’s Gospel, Mark 3:20–35.
  6. Say: This Gospel tells us about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Even some of his family was surprised to hear about his preaching and his works. That is when Jesus explains that those who follow him are part of another kind of family—God’s family. Being part of God’s family means we must do God’s will by loving one another in the same way we love and support our mother, father, brothers, and sisters. 
  7. Conclude in prayer by asking God to help us show love and support for one another as members of God’s family. Pray the Lord’s Prayer.


Gospel Reading
Mark 3:20–35
Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me.


Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6)

Older children begin to define themselves by the groups to which they belong. In today’s Gospel, Jesus makes clear that in choosing to follow him we become more than just part of a group—we join a family.

Materials Needed

  • paper, pencils

 Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Distribute paper and pencils. Give the following instructions: Take a few moments to think about the groups, clubs, and teams to which you belong. Maybe you are part of a dance troupe or a band. On your paper, make a list of these different groups. 
  2. When the children are finished, invite volunteers to share some of the groups they listed. Then ask the following question: What is your relationship like with the other people in these groups? Have the children consider this question quietly. Say: You most likely share common interests with the other members. You probably spend a lot of time together practicing, playing, learning, or doing activities. You may even be friends with people in these groups. Invite the children to share any personal experiences about groups to which they belong.
  3. Say: In today’s Gospel, Jesus is returning to his hometown. Just before this event, Jesus chose his twelve disciples. Let’s listen carefully to this Gospel to hear what Jesus tells us about the kind of relationship he wants to have with those who choose to follow him.  
  4. Invite one or more volunteers to read aloud today’s Gospel, Mark 3:20–35.
  5. Ask: Along with the crowds who come to hear Jesus teach, who also comes to see him? (Jesus’ relatives) You may want to talk about how we understand this Scripture when it talks about Jesus’ brothers and sisters. 
  6. Say: At the end of this Gospel, Jesus is surrounded by his disciples and those who want to listen to him teach and preach. These people share a common interest. But Jesus tells them that they must be more than just friends who are part of the same group. Jesus explains that those who follow him must share the kind of love, support, and understanding that we feel with our closest family members. 
  7. Conclude in prayer together, asking God to help us accept Jesus’ invitation to follow him and join together as part of God’s loving family. Pray together the Lord’s Prayer or the Hail Mary.


Gospel Reading
Mark 3:20–35
Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me.


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

To walk the path of discipleship, we must each make a conscious choice to follow Jesus. When we are young, our parents make these choices for us. As young people grow in maturity and independence, they begin to make these choices for themselves.

Materials Needed

  • None

 Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Invite young people to think back to when they were very young. Say: As children, our parents made many choices for us. When we get older, we begin to make some decisions for ourselves. Ask volunteers to name some things their parents chose or decided for them when they were young that they now choose or decide for themselves. (Accept all reasonable answers, for example, what they wear to school, who their friends are, which extracurricular activities they do.)
  2. Ask: Why do you think you are better able to make these kinds of decisions now? (Accept all reasonable answers.) Acknowledge that as young people gain more knowledge, skills, and experiences, they grow in maturity and independence. Say: When you were young, your parents made another important decision for you. They chose for you to be baptized and become part of God’s family, the Church. Now that you are older, you are beginning to make some of your own choices and decisions about following Jesus. 
  3. Say: In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus talk about what one must do to be his follower. Let’s listen carefully to this Gospel reading. 
  4. Invite one or more volunteers to read aloud this Sunday’s Gospel, Mark 3:20–35. 
  5. Ask: When Jesus returns to his hometown, how does his family react to him? (They do not understand him. They think he is out of his mind.) Say: At this point in the Gospel, Jesus has just called his disciples to follow him. Jesus uses this opportunity to teach one of his first lessons about what it means to be his disciple. You may want to explain how Catholics understand this Scripture passage that talks about Jesus’ brothers and sisters. 
  6. Say: Those gathered there know well what it means to be part of a family. Jesus explains that those who choose to follow him become part of a new kind of family. As Christians, we are called to show love for God and one another in the same way we show love for the members of our family. We do not choose the family we are born into, but we do choose to be part of Jesus’ family. 
  7. Ask: What are some ways you can choose to do God’s will in your daily life? (Accept all reasonable answers, for example, be helpful to those in need, be kind to others, pray each day, participate in youth ministry.) Say: As you continue to grow in your faith, you will have more and more opportunities to make your own choice to follow Jesus.
  8. Conclude in prayer together, asking God to give us the courage and faith to do his will each day and show by our actions that we choose to follow him. Pray together the Lord’s Prayer or the Act of Faith.


Gospel Reading
Mark 3:20–35
Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me.


Family Connection

Families are places of beginnings. Within our family, we first learn what it means to be part of a community. We share a closeness and experience mutual understanding and support. We learn how to love one another, how to ask for and receive forgiveness, and how to apply all these lessons to the world outside our homes.

As you gather as a family, talk about what makes your family special. Share some of the lessons you have learned together about love, forgiveness, and understanding. Then read today’s Gospel, Mark 3:20–35. Jesus wants us to understand that by doing God’s will, we are part of a bigger family. Choosing to follow Jesus, being his disciple, means we must treat one another with kindness and mercy. We must become a family. Conclude by asking God to bless your family and to help you do God’s will by seeing all his people with the same kind of love and compassion. Pray together the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary.