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Christ Is Not Crazy
Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
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.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, I want to let your word penetrate my heart, and let you speak to me. You know the things I need to hear today; you know my weaknesses, my longings, and exactly what I need in order to live a more holy life and be more like you. Help me to be open to all you have to say to me. Above all, I want to listen to you. I know that your words are life and will give me new life. They will light a new fire in my heart today. I want to let you do that for me during this time of meditation!
- At Home with Jesus: These words give us a glimpse of what it was like to spend every day with Jesus. The disciples went everywhere that he went, and lived many moments with him doing ordinary things. At times they were in a field, at times they went with him to the synagogue or to the town square, and at times they invited him into their homes. Did their familiarity with Jesus lead them to take him for granted in little ways and not wonder at how hard he worked? Or perhaps seeing Jesus’ humanity on a daily basis made it difficult for them to be awed by his divinity. Our familiarity with the Mass, especially if we go daily, and the routine of our devotional practices can sometimes numb us to the truth that Jesus is indeed God. May we strive always to appreciate the intimate access he gives to us in prayer and the sacraments.
- They Can’t Even Eat: Several times in the Gospel, Jesus and the disciples were so inundated by the crowds and consumed with serving that they could not take care of their most basic needs, like eating. With Jesus there seemed to be “a new normal,” which was one of total self-giving. Of course, we are called to be prudent and balanced in our work, our ministry, and our family life. But perhaps this Gospel is calling us to evaluate where we can give more. May we imitate St. Ignatius of Loyola in his generous self-giving by praying: Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O Lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and thy grace, for this is sufficient for me.
- Out of His Mind: That Jesus had relatives who considered him out of his mind presents us with a great irony. Far from crazy, Jesus is, in fact, wisdom incarnate. “In Wisdom is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, certain, not baneful, loving the good, keen, unhampered, beneficent, kindly, firm, secure, tranquil, all-powerful, all-seeing, and pervading all spirits, though they be intelligent, pure, and very subtle” (Wisdom 7:22-23) Jesus is the one with the clearest understanding of his identity, and the most rational, intelligent, and balanced of any human person. Knowing Jesus as we do, in hindsight, we can see more clearly who he is, although he will always be a mystery. What confuses us oftentimes is why Jesus does what he does in our lives. In our struggles to understand the “whys” in our life, we recall the words of the prophet Isaiah: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55: 9). Jesus is inviting us to overcome our human way of understanding and to see things through the lens of the Gospel.
Conversing with Christ: Lord, open my eyes and my heart. I want to live this day and every day with you, by your side. I want to sacrifice and serve others as you do, and to embrace your way of seeing things. Help me when I find myself calculating how much I have given. Strengthen me to give even when I am tired, hungry, or when I think I have given enough by human standards. Help me to judge by your standards.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will make a small sacrifice, one that really costs me, for the good of someone else.
For Further Reflection: Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.
Fr. Adam Zettel, LC, was ordained in 2017 and worked for three years as a high school chaplain in Dallas, Texas. Now he resides in Oakville, Ontario, serving youth and young adults.