Homily for January 23rd, 2016: Mark 3:20-21.
No sooner has word got out that Jesus has come to their town than crowds storm the house where he is staying in such numbers that it was “impossible even to eat,” Mark tells us. Even more shocking is the reaction of his family: “When his relatives hear of this they set out to seize him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind.’” People are still saying that of Jesus Christ and of those determined to follow him. Here are three examples.
A man married for well over twenty years tells a priest: “Father, my wife is so sensitive. For the whole of our marriage I’ve been walking on eggshells, always afraid that I’ll say or do something that will upset her. It’s driving me nuts.” Further conversation discloses that there is another woman in the picture who understands and affirms him. “I’ve thought about getting a divorce and marrying her,” he says. “But then I think of the children – and of the promises I made when we married. So I’ve decided to stay married and tough it out. All my buddies tell me I’m out of my mind.”
Then there is the girl at college who discovers that she is pregnant. The man responsible, and all her girlfriends, tell her to get an abortion. At first terrified that her parents will find out, she finally screws up courage to tell them. “You’re still our daughter,” they say. “You mustn’t kill the child you’re carrying. We all make mistakes. We’re going to help you – with the birth, and by caring for your baby afterwards.” When other members of the family find out about this they’re outraged. “Are you out of your mind?” they ask. “An abortion may not be cheap. But it’s nothing compared with the expense of raising a child no one wants. And think of the embarrassment when everyone finds out.” The child is a girl, three years old now. Everybody loves her.
Finally there is the young man who tells his parents he wants to go to seminary – or it could be his sister (the only other sibling in the family) wanting to enter a convent. This time it’s the parents who are outraged. “You need to marry, have children,” they say. “And we want grandchildren who will have Dad’s name. You’re throwing your life away. Are you out of your mind?”
None of the people in these examples are out of their minds. Rather, through faithfulness to the Lord, supported by much prayer, they have developed the mind of Christ.
Think about that. More important: pray about it.