Today's Gospel: Mark 3:31-35 - Sts. Timothy and Titus
Sometimes, when a person becomes fully committed to living out The Faith openly and actively, close family members are not pleased at all. In fact, our closest kin may become downright alarmed. “He’s become a fanatic,” they’ll say, worried. “Why get so religious? Why can’t she just go to church once a week normally like the rest of us?” they’ll complain. “He’s going to fall into some extremist crowd,” they’ll fret, and out of genuine concern, they may fear the person will come to some harm.
So when Jesus bursts from workaday life in sleepy Nazareth, leaving a steady job to become an overnight spiritual sensation, drawing huge crowds (and official religious opposition), it’s no wonder his sensible relatives come to rescue him from his “rashness.” Even Mary, it seems, is concerned: What’s this I hear? Lepers touching him? Demons screaming! And synagogue leaders, our leaders, decrying him! What’s happening?
So the family comes as a group to talk sense into Jesus. A few relations even twirl their fingers at their ears and whisper he’s gone bonkers (see verse 21). Jesus, however, is not troubled. As he sits calmly in the midst of a seated assembly – not a deranged or disorderly throng – this apparent crisis from his own family presents an opportunity to describe the New Family of God.
It is composed of those who, like him, the obedient Son, are submitted to the Father. A life governed by the will of God the Father, a life enjoyed in communion with Christ our brother, looks like craziness to those ‘outside’ (notice how the relatives are said to be ‘outside’ twice). But for those inside it is surely the Forever Family we all yearn for.
Do you have family members – parents, siblings, uncles/aunts or cousins, in-laws – who regard your sincere and open Faith as over-the-top, extreme, or even nonsensical? Pray they may move from the ‘outside’ to the ‘inside’ of Christ’s love.
Lord, even if our family members believe we have left our senses by following You so earnestly, let us remain obedient, calm, loving witnesses to your New Family, The Church.
Copyright 2016 John Desjarlais
John Desjarlais teaches college English and is the author of the Catholic-themed mysteries Bleeder, Viper, and Specter (Chesterton Press, 2009, 2011 and 2015 respectively). A member of Mystery Writers of America and The Catholic Writers Guild, he is listed in Who's Who in Entertainment and Who's Who Among America's Teachers. www.johndesjarlais.com