2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27
When I was living in Carbondale, IL, a group called "Fools for Christ" came to perform at the Newman Center at Southern Illinois University. They sang songs, and acted out skits, all to encourage the college students there to follow Jesus. I bring this up because in our Gospel reading for today, there are relatives of Jesus who have determined that "He is out of his mind;" and have decided to go get Him and bring Him home (We will see what happens in our Gospel reading for next Tuesday).
To proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ can make us seem to be out of our minds, or fools, or hopeless innocents, in the eyes of the world. As I write this, our country is about to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. For many today, practicing nonviolence would indicate that one has got out of his mind. Nonviolence seems so impractical in today’s world. But, to me, Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross indicates that He did not return violence with more violence. Instead, he chose to forgive, even from the Cross.
Jesus also told us to look to give, rather than to take, and still we are tempted to rationalize that greed is good. Our world is still struggling with coming together to alleviate poverty in so many places. The aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti is an indication of that.
Perhaps it is time to be "out of our minds," or "fools," for the Gospel. Violence and greed may have led to some results, but they won’t lead us to where we need to go. What is needed is to share the love and grace we have in Jesus Christ, no matter how crazy and foolish it makes us appear.
Fr. Phil Paxton, C.P. is pastor of St. Mary’s Parish, Fairfield, Alabama.