Fr Paul Gooley reads today’s Gospel from Mark (3: 22-30) in which, Jesus says ‘If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last’. Fr Paul says the fact that ‘scribes’ come down from Jerusalem indicates that the reputation of Jesus has already spread that far from Galilee, about a week’s journey. The fact that the exorcisms of Jesus were attributed to the power of Beelzebul confirms that the scribes could not deny the fact of his extraordinary powers, and little distinction would be made between exorcisms and healings. Jesus replies to the accusation with a series of ‘parables’, the first use of the word in Mark. In English, this word is often used to describe a story with a meaning, but in Hebrew the concept is wider. It certainly means a comparison, but also more widely any Wisdom saying or aphorism which demands careful thought and interpretation. In teaching about another world, the Kingdom of God, Jesus frequently uses such aphorisms; indeed, ‘he did not speak to them except in parables’ (Mark 4.34). Fr Paul notes today’s Gospel Lesson: there is no doubt that Jesus had extraordinary powers.