Reflection by Aidan Troy [Aodhán O Troighthigh] Please note: only the view of the above.
We worry about those we love. If they are travelling, we pray for a safe journey and return. Going for surgery, family and friends pray for a successful outcome. There are people I know, who also fast and give alms when caring for a person in some need of support.
Mary and family of Jesus are no different. For some time, they become increasingly alarmed as their beloved Jesus is stirring up a storm. There is talk that some want to kill Him. It had reached a point that with His disciples, ‘they could not even have a meal.’ It’s time to, ‘set out to take charge of him, convinced he was out of his mind.’
The reaction they get from Jesus is interesting. I find it consoling that Mary, Mother of Jesus, did not yet know the full story of her Son’s mission. I love Mary precisely because she was ready to follow her Son and to go on learning of God’s plan. She is full of grace and the Holy Spirit has overshadowed her, but still she has a lot to learn.
I often imagine that I should know the full story of God’s plan for me. In truth, I know very little. I’ve a lot to learn, with a lot of listening. I’ve to pray in silence to hear the whisper of God’s voice. Mary is my model; she had to learn, how dare I think that I have the full story?
Mary and relatives arrive outside. A message is sent in to Jesus for him to come home. The crowd tell Jesus, ‘your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.’ When we are on the ‘outside’ and not one of the ‘in people’, Mary knows what that feels like.
Mary is a great Mother to Jesus and to us. She is gentle as a Mother and prepared to wait on the outside.
If Mary and the family thought Jesus was going to rush out to see what they wanted, they were mistaken. He stays put. The crowd hold their breath. Then He speaks, ‘who are my mother and my brothers [sisters]?’ The crowd around Jesus thought the answer was, the people outside! Wrong!
The people outside can’t see or hear what happens next. A redefinition of the family of Jesus takes place. Mary and her relatives can never be excluded. Rather, a new family enters the ‘tent of Jesus’, the Church. Those around Him, ‘who do the will of the God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’ Thanks be to God!
We are all family now. Mary must have gone home, not for the first time, pondering these words in her heart. Mary will learn on Calvary in the message from the Cross that she is Mother of all God’s children.
Even though her ‘pilgrimage’ to bring Jesus home did not succeed, Mary did the right think to try. She acted with the warmth and love of a Mother. She learnt another side to her Son that day. She realised that people were telling her that He was possessed, out of his mind. How dangerous it is for us to judge others and to assume that we know. There is a foolishness in the Cross: “The word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than people and the weakness of God is stronger than people.” (1 Cor 1.)
If you hear I am out of my mind, it is true! Followers of Jesus Crucified embrace the folly of the Cross.