Mark's Gospel has often been miss-used. It has often been used to outcast people. Jesus has been working with the mentally ill. He was committed to their healing, even against the desire and fears of his own family. The chief priests were critical of him for working with the mentally ill. Mental illness at Jesus time was seen to be sin from the devil. Some of this same attitude sadly lingers today in Canada and to greater degrees in other parts of the world.
The reading has been used to name certain illness and associated actions as being against the Holy Spirit and unforgivable. This is entirely wrong! The verse is focused on a belief of the day spread by the chief priests that the healing Spirit of God was not in Jesus and that Jesus was not from God. Jesus rebukes sternly this assertion! People who believed this, Mark writes are themselves committing a sin against the Holy Spirit. This sin is unforgivable as it denies Jesus Divinity.
Jesus came to practice the love of God. Today in 2018 we must still place Jesus at the center of our lives. Jesus came in love and we are called to love. We are called to hold our society accountable to follow Christian values. We also must reflect upon our own actions. What is at the center of our lives? What motivates my life is a question of reflection for all of us.
Paul's letter reminds us that there is eternal life. He has hope. God is about love and hope. Life for us about living in love, peace and hope which the church understood from Jesus' healing actions and the teaching of Paul from the beginning.