If we’re in this for fame and glory, then today’s Gospel should set us straight. Earlier in Jesus’s ministry, his family tried an intervention because “he is out of his mind” (Mark 3:21). To that, Jesus promptly redefined his family: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother” (3:35). At his next visit home after a long stint performing miraculous healings, Jesus’s neighbors feign astonishment, which quickly becomes offense: Just who does he think he is?
We might hear echoes of the times when those closest to us didn’t understand us and even rejected us. Others recall warnings that no matter what people tell us is possible, we can never break free of the circumstances and limitations of the status, race, or ethnicity we are born into.Those who have tried to have the difficult conversations with family about systemic inequality can feel with Jesus the heartache of wanting to preach God’s radical justice only to be scorned by those we love. Click To Tweet
Still others who have tried to have the difficult conversations with family about systemic inequality can feel with Jesus the heartache of wanting to preach God’s radical justice only to be scorned by those we love.
For Jesus and the disciples he sends out in next Sunday’s Gospel—and for us—God’s reign must be preached with persistence, whether it is convenient or inconvenient. That is what prophets do. The prophet’s reward may be faithful hearts, or it may be death. But the prophet’s glory is always in doing the will of God.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- The heart of the Eucharist
- Come and fill our hearts
- The slow work of the Spirit
- Listen for the Spirit
- Let’s be recognized