Saturday of the 2nd Week of the Year

Mk 3:20-21

Jesus and His Relatives


In this short gospel account today, Jesus is branded as somebody who is out of his mind. The people made such a comment is understandable for one practical reason. In his desire to entertain the crowds who gathered to probably have a glimpse of him or to talk with him or to listen to what he had to say, Jesus and his disciples found themselves in a situation where “it was impossible for them even to eat.”

The relatives saw the point. Jesus did not have to kill himself or to risk stomach ulcers. They came to take him away. But this brief gospel episode has more to it than nutrition. It encapsulates the passion of Jesus for people which was a constant throughout his whole ministry. Persons are above in anything else. Even to the point of “forgetting” personal needs.

This singular passion for something reminds me of the story of a great inventor, Thomas Edison. He worked once as a telegraph operator. He got so interested in the machine and its workings that he started finding ways how to improve it. So engrossed was he that he forgot all about the messages that were coming over the wire. Consequently a lot of messages remained unsent and undelivered. Of course, he was discharged. (Fr. Gerry del Pinado, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


In one story, a character called Teddy talks about how hard it is to try to live a spiritual life in today’s world. He says, “It is very hard to meditate and live a spiritual life in America in Europe or even in Asia, if I may add). People think you’re a freak if you try to. My father thinks I’m a freak, in a way. And my mother – well, she doesn’t think it’s good for me to think about God all the time. She thinks it’s bad for my health.”

Jesus had the same problem with his relatives and close friends. He often missed His meals and lacked much needed rest after working so hard all day and well into the night. And this alarmed His relatives and closed friends. But they failed miserable in knowing who Jesus really was.  They just saw a small, one-sided part of Him – His activity: how He helped so many people the whole day that he often missed his meals and failed to grab some proper rest. They didn’t see Him late in the evening or in the wee hours of the morning, communing with His Father in prayer.

Jesus perfectly struck a balance between silence and words, withdrawal and closeness. ‘Til the end of His earthly life, Jesus kept on giving and receiving, healing and suffering, working and praying.”

Regardless of what people see and will say about us, let us go on living, patterning our life after Christ, balancing our love for God and for our neighbor, communing with Him and serving our brothers and sisters. That is Christ’s way; that should be our, too. (Fr. Fred Mislang, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


The gospel today is the shortest in our liturgical calendar. Just two verses with two themes. The first verse shows how the crowds keep on looking for Jesus. No surprise there, Jesus is such a magnetic personality that people gravitate around him.

The second verse is quite unusual. It tells us that Jesus’ relatives think he’s gone bonkers. Do they really think he’s mad? But why? Out of real concern, or simply envy or pure malice? It is known that some of his kith and kin do not believe in him (see John 7:5). And it is about his own acquaintances and relatives that he uttered one of his memorable lines. “No prophet is without honor except in his own country,” (Luke 4:24). Prophets of course, are considered madmen in the OT (2Kings 9-11).

Simply put, madness is an aberration of the mind or behavior, or attitude. It is something out of the normal bounds of human reason and human conduct.

But what is “normal” can be relative. Within a so-called culture of corruption  for example, an honest, intelligent and self-sacrificing lawmaker/public servant is an aberration. In that sense, he/she is “mad” or “fool” because he/she behaves completely different from the “normal,” accepted code of conduct.

In a city full of insolent, reckless, stupid motorists, a courteous, rule-abiding driver should be considered as anomaly! He/she is “crazy.”

In a class of lazy, cheating, impertinent students, one who is thoughtful, hardworking and honest learner should be considered “mad”.

Such is the measure of our national misfortune that what is indecent, dishonest and bad has become an index of normality.

Would that our country were a place of “madmen/madwomen” – as “mad” as Jesus who had compassion for the poor as mad as Zaccheus who returned his ill-gotten wealth, as mad as St. Paul who screamed for justice and righteousness as “mad” as Ninoy who died for our country!

One classic Filipino song is entitled Sino ang baliw? I think it should be made our national anthem.  It should be played everyday – in the Batasan, in Malacanang, in public offices, in schools, in parishes, in police stations, in Bishop’s places, everywhere (except in the national Mental Hospital where the inhabitants are indubitably honest) – as reminder that we have a noble duty to be “fools” for the sake of our country, for the sake of ourselves and for the sake of Jesus. (Fr. Raymun Festin, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


Jennifer shares that, she was still single, her first priority was herself especially making herself physically attractive. Monthly, she would go to the parlor to fix her hair and to the malls to buy the latest style of branded clothing. Now that she is married, she has learned to forget herself for the sake of her kids. Her former classmates reacted, “Are you out of your mind? Where is the beauty queen in you during our high school days?

Similarly, Jesus’ relatives said that He is out of His mind. He even forgets to eat due to the demands of His mission. In short, the total commitment of Jesus makes Him fully focused on serving others and completely forgetting His own personal needs.

Let’s check ourselves. How do we regard deeply committed Christians? Do we criticize them or appreciate their sincere and total commitment or how committed are we to the specific tasks entrusted to us – total or conditional? (Fr. Mio Sombrio, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


January 23, 2016 Saturday

On the morning of January 25, 2015, in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, 44 members of the PNP Special Action Force were killed in an ambush by Muslim ghters. It was a tragic and horrible incident. Those who might be blamed and be made accountable for the massacre cavalierly dismissed the tragedy as a “misencounter”. Forty-four policemen were killed and it was just a “misencounter?” What a Pilate-way of washing one’s hands. It is indeed very easy to simply dismiss the whole incident as a misencounter. And it is very diffi cult to admit that it was a botched operation attended by breach of protocol, lack of coordination and communication, treachery, perfidy, distrust, a wild grab for fame and glory, miscalculation, inadequate intelligence service, poor military strategy and tactics.

This kind of response to the massacre that labels it as a misencounter, is akin to the response of those who heard the preaching of Jesus but did not want to change their way of life, beliefs, and principles. They heard Him but they refused to listen. They refused discipleship to Jesus and rationalized their refusal by saying that Jesus was“out of his mind.” It is easier to say that Jesus is a crazy guy than to accept His teaching that we should forgive others seventy times seven times. It is simpler to say that Jesus is a mental case than to internalize His teachings that we must love others – Jews or Gentiles, Caucasians, Africans or Orientals.

How we respond to the teachings of Jesus is shaped and colored by our own biases and prejudices. Just as a prism makes light that passes through it come out in many colors, so does our perceptual field of reference filter that which is perceived by our senses. Hence, we must clean our minds, free our hearts from prejudices, and be open to the guidance and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit for us to be able to see the truth and to be open to change. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us extricate ourselves from our comfort zones where familiar lifestyle and rules bend to our temptations, cater to our whims and caprices. If we nd His teachings hard to accept and difficult to practice, let us be humble enough to admit that. If we reject His teachings because we do not want to change our life, let us admit that. But we should not take the easy way out of simply dismissing Him as someone crazy and His teachings as crazy as he is. There is no easy way to the Father: there is no expressway to His kingdom of peace, justice and love – there is only the less travelled road. (Fr. Ernie M. Lagura, SVD | USC, Cebu City Bible Diary 2016)




WORD for the DAY for January 22, 2011 (St. Vincent – 2nd Week in Ordinary Time)

1st Reading: Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
(Antiphon: God mounts his throne to shouts of joy; a blare of trumpets for the Lord.)

GOD’S WORD (Mark 3:20-21):
Jesus came with his disciples into the house.
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.”

Our families will always be part of us. We hate them and we love them. We leave them and we long for them. We carry them in our lives and our hearts and we affect them, too. We cannot choose them and we cannot just shrug them off. They give us joy and they bring us pain. The truth is we can only be hurt by people we love and we can only hurt people who love us. If there is no love, there is no hurt; we would not care about what others do.

Let us accept our own families and face our issues. No family is perfect. Each has its flaws. But each has its blessings, too. (from “365 Days with the Lord,” St. Pauls)

Visit your relatives.

Liturgy of the Hours: Pss II, EP I Sunday Week III (Proper of Saints)


Friday, January 22, 2016

SATURDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MARCOS 3:20-21. UNSA MAY ATONG MAKUHA SA PAGSUNOD SA KABUBUT-ON SA DIOS? Sa dihang si Hesus nagsugod sa pagbuhat sa misyon nga gisangon kaniya sa Langitnong Amahan, nasinati niya ang pagbiay-biay gikan sa iyang mga kaparyentihan. Ang ebanghelyo nagsaysay nga buot nilang sikopon si Hesus tungod kay nagtoo sila nga siya nawad-ag saktong panghunahuna. Labing siguro sakit kaayo para kang Hesus nga ang iya mismong mga kadugo wala makasabot sa iyang gibuhat. Kon kita magmatinud-anon sa atong pagka-anak sa Dios, aduna usay mga tawo nga dili makasabot kanato. May malipay, apan dili kalikayan nga aduna usay masilo. Bisan pa man niini, gidasig kita sa pagbuhat sa kabubut-on sa Dios tungod kay matod pa sa usa ka magsasangyaw: “The cost of discipleship is high. But the cost of non-discipleship is even higher.” Posted by Abet Uy



GO AGAINST ALL ODDS – The people thought Jesus was out of His mind. The throng who followed Him made it impossible for Him and the Apostles to eat. His relatives were concerned about His health. The scribes accused Him of driving out demons and thought He was possessed by Beelzebul. Jesus’ relatives doubted Him and made it impossible for Him to do miracles in His native place.

Preachers and healers can empathize with Jesus. The age of science and modernity had diminished, if not eradicated, the transcendent and the mystical. Science had become the norm of things. There must be proof and it should contain the elements of the material world. While there were also healers during the time of Jesus, they were not in the same level as Jesus. Jesus heals and forgives sins. Jesus deals even with the dead. Some people thought He was in cahoots with the devil; they forgot the power of God.

Let us admit that, in today’s world, the devil is feared more than God. There were those who removed God in our schools, hospitals and even houses. Praying in public is even questioned. The sensibilities of others had been given more priority than the practice of one’s faith. To even mention God is taboo. But we should not adhere to it without a fight. We have the responsibility to proclaim our faith while respecting the faith — or lack of it — of others. Jesus did not stop from healing and teaching, no matter what others thought of Him. He had a mission and saw to it that it was fulfilled.

We, too, have a mission as baptized Christians. We carry the threefold function of being a prophet, priest and pastor. Right in our families, friends, community, schools and offices, we live those functions. At times we will be accused of righteousness. People will think we are crazy or are possessed. But let not those comments and obstacles deter us from doing what we should do. Jesus never stopped. Jesus did not let anything separate Him from the Father. In the same way, nothing should separate us from our God. Fr. Benny Tuazon

REFLECTION QUESTION: Following Jesus is costly. Are you committed to doing so despite persecution from the people around you, including your family members?

Holy Spirit, grant me the grace to persevere in my journey despite the obstacles and persecutions I encounter along the way. Amen.



January 23, 2016

REFLECTION: The people closest to Jesus (in terms of blood connection), namely, his relatives, said about him, as we learn in today’s gospel reading: “He is out of his mind.” Well, that is not too surprising, for many a great man was mis­understood and unappre­ciated by his own family. But, something much more serious, Jesus was mis­understood by his own disciples. Sometimes he is so frustrated by their obtuseness that his patience breaks down. On one occasion, for example, he shows his exasperation with these words: “Do you not ­understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?” They answered him, “Twelve.” “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments you did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.” He said to them, “Do you still not understand?” (Mk 8, 17-21)

Jesus suffered that special form of loneliness which is to be mis­understood.

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Saturday of the 2nd Week of the Year

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