He is out of his mind: Homily for Saturday, January 21, 2017

Readings for Today

“He is out of his mind.”  Isn’t that a strange statement from Jesus’ relatives? They knew Jesus.  He was the little boy of Joseph and Mary.  They had watched him grow up.  They had seen him learn the trade of Joseph his father.  How is it they could not understand him.  Yet, they do not.  “He is out of his mind.” They do not understand him.  They do not really know him.  He is not a carpenter.  He is not following in his father’s footsteps.  He is going out into the desert, doing God knows what.  He says he was tempted by the devil.  He is not eating.  Despite attracting crowds, he is not taking care of himself.

How is this?  “He is out of his mind.” How can they not understand him? Because understanding comes through faith.  It is only with faith we truly understand Jesus.  He is preaching a desperately needed message.  He is speaking to people who desperately need to hear.  He is driven.  He does the Father’s will.  He is not a carpenter because he is Son of God.  He is not making things of wood, he is making holy souls for eternity.

There are those who try to understand Jesus only with reason.  How can we believe in him we have not seen? How is it that our modern scientific mind can understand what at times seems so unbelievable? And can we risk being misunderstood?  Can we risk the thoughts of others that we too are out of our mind? If we are to understand Jesus, then we must start with faith, with the development of a relationship with him.

Homily for Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Readings for Today

Is there any other significant person in the Bible that has no spoken lines recorded?  It is hard to imagine.  But when we consider St. Joseph, he is a man who is not quoted as saying one thing.  All we know about him comes through somebody else.  People know him as Jesus’ father, we are told, not by Joseph, but by the writer of the gospel, that Joseph was having serious doubts and had decided not to take Mary as his wife, and by Mary herself we learn that Joseph was anxious at the disappearance of Jesus.  Further, Joseph does not “stay on the stage long” in any gospel. Shortly after Jesus turns twelve, Joseph exits.  There is not even any account of his death.  Joseph is the silent man.

But what we do know of Joseph in the gospels is that Joseph was a just man.  We see time and time again that Joseph displays his faith in God.  In these stories we come to see that while he may not be recorded as speaking much, he clearly spoke much by the way he lived his life of faith.  And in so many ways, that is the best speech that can be made.

All of the readings, through David, Abraham, and Joseph stress the promise. And in all instances, the message is clear: When God makes a promise, God keeps it.  Plain and simple.  David, Abraham, and Joseph all had difficulties, but in the end, all kept their faith in God that the promises made would be promises kept.  And so as we celebrate St. Joseph, let us remember his faithfulness, and seek to imitate that in our own lives.