Have you ever felt so passionate about something that you couldn’t think about anything else? Or have you ever had dreams, goals or ambitions about something you wanted to achieve, something you felt was so right, something you felt you were being called to, but was so different from what others thought was normal? Have you ever been accused or thought of as being different or crazy simply because you went against the grain, you thought differently from “what’s normal” and followed your heart? You must have been “out of your mind”!
Surely we all have experienced this. Many of us are experiencing this right now. This happened to Jesus in todays Gospel reading. Jesus was doing and saying things that were so radical, so different, that people thought he was crazy and literally, out of his mind, and possessed by demons. St. Mark wrote:
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.”
This is the Gospel reading today in its entirety – short and sweet. Even Jesus’ family thought he was out of his mind. It’s ironic they chose that phrase though, because a definition of “out of your mind” is To behave in a manner opposite of normal life resulting in any form of altered mental state.
To behave in a manner opposite of normal life. That’s exactly what Jesus did. That’s exactly what we as Christians do every day if we have faith in Him, and treat others as we would want to be treated, as Jesus would treat them, even our enemies. It’s when we pray before dinner in a restaurant, or simply grin and bear it when we get cut-off on the freeway. It’s when we go to Mass over our lunch break or sit in Adoration for an hour. It’s when we speak out against what’s wrong and stand up for what’s right. Its when be go against what has become normal in society that we are labeled “out of our mind”. If that’s the case, call me crazy, because, that’s who I want to be.
It’s not easy, especially in today’s world. But it’s always been hard. Again, Jesus even had His relatives question him and accuse Him of being possessed. And today, if we preach the Gospel, or share Pope Francis quotes or scripture on Facebook, we’re labeled as annoying by many people. Some people, including our own family members may laugh and brush us off, because it’s not normal. But I like the second part of that “definition” where it says that people who are out of their mind are “in an altered mental state”.
Once again, that’s true. Because if the mentality of todays society is normal, then I’d rather be in an “altered mental state.” I want to believe that there is something better, that there is something more in this life. I want to think that I have the ability to do things in this world that are only possible through the grace of God, and that I can make others better, and help make this world a better place through the gifts that God gave me. I want to talk about the sanctity of marriage with my wife and raise my son to be a good Catholic gentleman in a world that looks down upon such a thing.
I want to believe that it is our duty to make each other better, to get each other to Heaven. I want to experience the Sacraments and dwell in Gods grace. And you know what? If I do enough of that, it just may alter my mind. It just may make me think that I can make a difference and believe that there is something better after we die. If we experience Jesus in the fullness of our faith, it does alter our mental state. Call us crazy!
We have to choose. And we have to believe in it, because the world will say we are out of our minds. We have to unveil our faith. This makes me think of the first reading today from Hebrews, where it first talks about how the temple in Jerusalem had an outer tabernacle, and then an inner tabernacle called the Holy of Holies that housed the presence of God, the Ark of the Covenant. It was concealed behind a veil.
Behind the second veil was the tabernacle called the Holy of Holies.
For most people, “Gods Presence” was off-limits. Only the holiest of priests could approach Him. Sacrifices of “goats and bulls” were conducted in the temple to cleanse us from our sins.
But when Jesus came, he unveiled the true presence of God for all of us to see in the flesh, and he offered the grace and salvation and forgiveness we could never experience before.
For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, how much more will the Blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.
He fulfilled God’s plan for us, and showed us that we can achieve greatness if we believe in His Son. He is there for us, directly in front of us, not behind a curtain. He does things we cannot even imagine, He enables us to achieve things in His name we never thought that we could. He gives us life beyond how we previously thought we could live. He alters our mental state. He makes us want to be “abnormal” in comparison to today’s world.
Jesus can alter your state of mind so that you want to go out and make a difference, whether it is in your job, your parish, or in the community. If you get enough of Jesus and His grace, you will be called to do things beyond your imagination, and His purpose for you will begin to be unveiled, much as Gods true presence was behind the curtain in the temple, and then was unveiled with Jesus.
Unveil your faith in God, and His faith and purpose in you will be unveiled. Be out of your mind for Christ, and experience true life. People may call you crazy, but it’s the only way to live in this world.