To Be Fools for Jesus

Mark 3: 20-21
Heb 9:2-3, 11-14 / Psa 47

…a crowd gathered, so that He and His disciples were unable to eat.

In times when men don’t comprehend
Our boldness to speak of God’s Word,
Have faith, the Holy Spirit will send
Wisdom to come as our reward.

Then Jesus entered a house (in Capernaum), and again a crowd gathered, so that He and His disciples were unable to eat. When His family heard about this, they went to take charge of Him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” (Mark 3:20-21)


When our Lord left His hometown of Nazareth to begin His ministry, He became an itinerant preacher and healer, taking up residence wherever His work took Him. At one time He even told a would-be follower: “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head” (Mt. 8:20). Only John the Baptist had a wilder lifestyle, living in the desert and subsisting on locusts and wild honey. Back in Nazareth, Jesus’ relatives had heard about His strange activities –associating with tax collectors (Levi) and rebels (Simon the zealot), and defying the religious authorities, like the high priests and the Pharisees and Herodians. They had even heard rumors that He was casting out evil spirits by the power of Beelzebul. They had also learned about the times He would go hungry because of His work, and thought that this must be the reason why “He was going out of His mind.” Concerned about His health and danger to His life, the family’s reputation and its standing in the strict Jewish community, His relatives decided to “take charge of Him” and possibly bring Him back to Nazareth so that they could instill some order in His life.

How true the words of our Lord Jesus rang when he would later say, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house” (Mk.6:4). Many of us, I am sure, have had a similar experience with our own close relatives and friends who regarded us with doubt, if not sheer skepticism after we entered the Christian Renewal, and began quoting verses from the Bible. Some may have been incredulous about our sudden transformation.

Our Lord warned us that following Him would not be a walk in the park. “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Mt. 7:14). We too will experience the cynicism, or even ridicule of our own friends and relatives when we speak out for the Lord, especially if we are new members or converts in the renewal. Even the members of our own family may give us a hard time in winning souls for Christ and bringing Him to our close circle of friends and family. As Jesus pointed out, “A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household” (Mt. 10:36). Personally, we have not had much success in inviting our own sons and daughter or any of my siblings to join our religious community. We have only our Lord’s experience in this regard as consolation that this is not out of the ordinary. And anyway, we have no cause to complain as in their own ways our children have grown to be upright, moral, and God-fearing Catholics. Praise God!

Lord Jesus, in today’s Gospel You teach us in just a few words the big mission that is laid out for us to accomplish. Help us, in times of our anxieties, doubts and fear of shame, to stand up for your Word, even if it will make us appear ridiculous in front of our peers. Make us bold in the Spirit, Lord, that we may fearlessly proclaim Your Word. Amen.

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