Saturday of Week 2 of Ordinary Time – Gospel

Commentary on Mark 3:20-21

Today we are told that Jesus “went home”. Yet, at another time Jesus will say that he has nowhere to lay his head. Of course, one can say that anywhere can be the home of Jesus, or that home is where Jesus is. We have seen references already to the ‘house’ or the ‘home’ indicating any house where Jesus is gathered with his disciples, with those who listen attentively to what he says.

At the same time, so many people came looking for him that he did not even have time to eat. This is in strong contrast with what is going to follow. One might think such popularity would be welcomed especially by his family; a kind of reflected glory.

On the contrary, he is an embarrassment to them. They think he “has gone out of his mind”. They think he must be ‘mad’ because he is in conflict with the religious leaders, with the Pharisees and the Scribes. It reminds one of the parents of the man born blind who did not want to have anything to do with their son because of his relationship with his healer, Jesus. Jesus must be “out of his mind” because a genuine rabbi would never be seen happily in the company of sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers and outcasts.

Similarly, teachers of the Law who had come all the way from Jerusalem (news of Jesus must now be reaching that far) were saying that he must be possessed by the prince of demons, and that it was by the power of the prince of demons that he drove out other demons.

From the experience that Jesus had, his followers must not expect, simply because he bases his life on truth and brotherly love, that Jesus will be admired, respected and loved in return. From Jesus onward, every true follower of Christ has faced misunderstanding, opposition and even verbal and physical violence. And this sometimes from within his own community.

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