When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” // Mark 3:21
From the time I was young, I’ve been a sort of “black sheep” in my family. In middle school, I was the only one who loved show tunes, and now, as an adult, other than my grandmother, I am the only one who practices the Faith (definitely a little weightier than musical preferences).
When I read in today’s Gospel that Jesus’ relatives thought He was “out of his mind” for the miracles He’d been performing earlier in the text, I heard echoes of my own family’s critiques when I let them know that my desire to pursue a career in medicine had transformed into a call to serve the Church as a campus minister.
Honestly, some of their concerns were valid. In terms of finances alone there is a clear contrast between the two career choices. From an outsider’s perspective, my decision could definitely be seen as imprudent. But when they took the time to listen to how I had come to my decision, when they could clearly see the passion for faith and justice that had been ignited in my heart, my family’s hesitancy and concern began to fade away.
As I continued to pray with this Gospel passage, I couldn’t help but notice that Jesus’ relatives had only heard of what He’d been doing. They didn’t actually witness His ministry firsthand (Mark 3:21). I wonder if their criticism would have changed if they had seen His ability to cure the sick and drive out demons. Would they have been amazed and joined the crowds that gathered? Would their concern have begun to fade away and leave space for wonder and awe?
And, with that in mind, I wonder if we, too, put up walls of disbelief when we hear radical stories of Christ’s infinite love. When we learn of unbelievable conversion stories or miracles, do we turn to skepticism or to praise of God’s infinite goodness? And if our initial reaction is one of harsh criticism, might we pray for the Creator to soften our hearts and allow us to be open to the mercies He pours out abundantly into our world?Be open to the mercies He pours out. // Sarah Rose Click To Tweet