Wondering where that opening comment came from? Me – because I am not a bible scholar. I read this mornings Gospel not once, not twice but several times trying to figure our where Mother Church was going with this Gospel – the Good News…
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.”
And now I’ve read it again, still searching for that meaning. That is why I seek the insight of a bible scholar to help me better understand. Bishop Barron is one of those who I follow daily because he has a beautiful and simple way of explaining the Gospel readings to me. So here is Bishop Barron’s take on today’s Gospel…
Friends, in today’s Gospel, relatives of Jesus claim that he is mad. You know, in cases like this, the basic problem is always the fearful ego. Ego-addicts know that sometimes the best defense is a good offense. If you want to protect the ego and its prerogatives, you must oppress and demoralize those around you.
There is a very unsubtle version of this method: you attack, put down, insult, and undermine those around you. This is the method of the bully. But the religious version is much subtler and thus more insidious and dangerous. It takes the law itself—especially the moral law—and uses it to accuse and oppress. “I know what’s right and wrong; I know what the Church expects of us; and I know that you are not living up to it.”
And so I accuse you; I gossip about you; I remind you of your inadequacy. Mind you, this is not to condemn the legitimate exercise of fraternal correction or the office of preaching. But it’s a reminder to not be sucked into the slavery of ego addiction. We must stay alert to this and avoid it at all costs.
As much as I respect Bishop Barron’s opinion and wisdom, I did not get that message from today’s Gospel, so I searched on. I went back to the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) website and they have a video daily reflection for each day of the year, so I listened to today’s thoughts (hit the hyper link and you can hear them too). Now that reflection hit home and brought some meaning to the Gospel today.
What is my point in all of this? God speaks to us through the Gospel everyday. There may be times when what He is trying to teach us isn’t clear so seek the guidance of others, ask that “dumb” question, be humble and admit you don’t know or have all of the answers. (If there is anything I’ve learned after this week, it is truly that I don’t have all of the answers.) I’ll offer a little play on a often quoted bible verse…Seek the Lord until He is found; call to Him until He is near.
Do something great for our Lord today – ask the dumb questions and find true meaning in His Word.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.