REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
January 23, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Jesus came with his disciples into the house. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” Mark 3:20-21
We have all heard the phrase “you’re out of your mind!” with regard to someone doing something unique or beyond our understanding. Even some of Jesus’ own family say this about him as he goes about preaching and healing. In the secular world in which we live, priorities are very different for those who want a deeper relationship with Christ versus those who chase after things that in the end turn to dust. We follow Jesus because he is the one and only true sacrifice who brings about our salvation.
When you consider the sufferings of Jesus, most likely your thoughts first turn to the crucifixion. From there, you may think about His scourging at the pillar, the carrying of the Cross and the other events that took place from the time of His arrest until His death. However, there were many other human sufferings that our Lord endured for our good and the good of all. Our gospel reference today presents us with one such experience.
Though physical pain is quite undesirable, there are other sufferings that can be just as difficult to endure, if not more difficult. One such suffering is being misunderstood and treated by your own family as if you were out of your mind. In Jesus’ case, it appears as if many of His extended family, not including His own mother of course, were quite vocally critical of Jesus.
Perhaps they were jealous of Him and had some form of envy, or perhaps they were embarrassed by all the attention He was getting. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that Jesus’ own relatives tried to prevent Him from ministering to the people who deeply longed to be with Him. Some of His extended family members made up the story that Jesus was “out of his mind” and sought to put an end to His popularity.
Family life should be a community of love, but for some it becomes a source of sorrow and hurt. Why did Jesus allow Himself to endure this form of suffering? In part, to be able to relate with any and every suffering you endure as a result of your own family. Additionally, His endurance of it also redeemed this form of suffering, making it possible for your family hurt to share in that redemption and grace.
Thus, when you turn to God in prayer with your family struggles, you will be consoled to know that the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, Jesus, the Eternal Son of God, understands your suffering from His own human experience. He knows the pain so many family members feel from first-hand experience. And He is able to look at every family suffering with the utmost compassion so as to give each person who asks the grace they need to not only endure that suffering but also to use it for good and for God’s glory.
Reflect, today, upon any way that you need to surrender some hurt within your own family over to God. Turn to our Lord Who fully understands your struggles and invite His powerful and compassionate presence into your life so that He can transform all that you endure into His grace and mercy.
My compassionate Lord, You endured much in this world, including the rejection and ridicule of those in Your own family. I offer to You my own family and especially the hurt that has been present. Please come and redeem all family struggles and bring healing and hope to me and to all those who need it the most. Jesus, I trust in You.