CYCLE I: HOMILY FOR SATURDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: JESUS, LOVED AND HATED AT THE SAME TIME
BY: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
HOMILY: Mk 3:20-21
He came home. 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.”
At the Presentation in the Temple, the old Simeon prophesied, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted” (Lk 2:34). This has been proven many times in the life of Jesus, especially during His public ministry.
He was at the same time loved and hated, admired and ridiculed, welcomed and rejected, obeyed and defied. The Gospel today illustrates this. In two short verses, the contradiction is perceivable. He goes home to his own family. It is expected to be a joyful reunion of some sort. Yet, His relatives “set out to seize Him, for the said ‘He is out of His mind.’”
They are not thrilled that their relative is extremely popular. They even want to hide Him from the people for they believe He is manifesting an abnormal behavior: “He is out of His mind.” There are reasons for this perception of the relatives of Jesus.
First, because He is acting strange. On account of so many people coming to Him, He has barely no time for Himself, even to eat. Second, because in His teachings, He comes into conflict with the Pharisees and the Scribes. Third, because He is often seen in the company of sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers and outcasts. And apparently, He enjoys being with them. And finally, because some scribes who had come from Jerusalem are spreading the story that “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons” (Mk 3:22). In short, His relatives feel that He is an embarrassment to them.
What happened in the Gospel today is a prelude to His final rejection on Calvary. As St. John said in the Prologue of his Gospel, “He came to what was His own, but his own people did not accept him” (Jn 1:11).
However, Jesus is unaffected by all these perceptions and stories. He is not scared and discouraged by the accusations, rejection and suffering He faces. His overriding concern is the fulfillment of His mission. Very early in His life, He is already well aware of this. When Joseph and Mary found Him in the Temple, He asked them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Lk 2:49).
Following Jesus is not easy. At some point we will face rejection, even from our own family and loved ones. As Jesus was rejected by His own people, we also will face the same fate. After all, “No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master” (Mt 10:24). But despite all these, we are confident that Jesus is with us all the time. He never abandons us in our trials and sufferings on account of His Gospel. He assures us: “You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed” (Lk 21:18). We need only to be strong and firm in our decision to follow Him: “By your perseverance you will secure your lives” (Lk 21:19).
According to St. Teresa of Kolkata, “Pain, suffering and sorrow are but the Kiss of Christ – a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you.”
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches