Gospel Reflection – Saturday 2nd week in Ordinary Time (20 January) – Jesus’ family checks up on him
Fr Paul Gooley reads today’s Gospel from Mark (3: 20-21) in which, Jesus’ family, when they learn of his situation, goes to check on him, convinced he is out of his mind. Fr Paul says this reading and those of the two following days are about the rejection of Jesus. First, as we hear today, his family thinks he is out of his mind, then he is rejected by the scribes, and finally, Jesus states that his relationship to those who listen to him is closer than to his own family. Mark frequently uses this form of inclusion, or sandwiching, to bring out a connection between events. It is intended as a strong statement of how Jesus was isolated and misunderstood. These accounts of the rejection of Jesus by his family and the acceptance by those who listen to him leads directly on to its illustration in the parable of the Sower. Both emphasize how unsupported Jesus is on the natural level, and so prepare for the need of a strong response on the part of Christians. Fr Paul says today’s gospel reminds us that it will be necessary for us to make a decision on behalf of Jesus and to be prepared to suffer persecution for that decision.