Why do you want to do this? Do you know what it entails? Are you crazy? I got these questions from clergy members when I first entertained the idea of the permanent diaconate. He’s crazy; his train jumped the tracks, and the wheels fell off his wagon—phrases used to describe people’s thoughts on my pursuing any thought of ministry. But it was something I felt I needed to explore, at least. At the time, I hadn’t paid attention to today’s gospel. Now, it holds a different meaning for me.
In this short gospel passage, we find Jesus returning to his home territory, and an impressive crowd is gathering near him. The locals are concerned that the carpenter’s son may have lost his mind. What else could explain the commotion he is causing? What do the crowds see in him? Even his relatives are questioning his faculties!
What can this short passage teach us? The call to serve others is not an easy one to answer. One may experience ridicule, alienation, aloneness, and exclusion from people considered friends. But the example Jesus gives—the selflessness of serving the crowds—shows what we are called to do. It shows what the crowds are seeking. They seek that special something that is Jesus.
They seek the same thing we seek. While they sought him out of curiosity or acceptance of his message, we are blessed with finding him in the sacraments. We see him in the greatest gift ever given, the Eucharist. We are called to bring him to others in how we live and worship and, in the invitation, to receive Jesus’s greatest gift. If answering that call labels us out of our minds, let’s enjoy the insanity!
Let Us Pray:
Lord Jesus, you endured the slings and arrows of your detractors to redeem us to the Father. May we always cherish the gift you have given us and help others to find joy in knowing and serving you. We ask this in your name. Amen.