Today’s Gospel invites us to imagine what was going through the mind of Our Lord’s family when news began to reach them of everything happening in his ministry: healings, people mobbing him from all over Palestine, non-stop work that didn’t even leave him time to eat, and an escape by boat as the only way to keep the crowds from flocking around him and following him constantly. Today’s Gospel says simply that he came into “the house”; it’s not clear whether he’d come home or not, but the mention of the family’s reaction might infer it, although the Gospel only says they heard of what he was doing.
The reaction of Our Lord’s family serves to underscore the apparent insanity of the situation, so much that they’re wondering whether Jesus himself is insane. Our Lord, however, simply travels, preaches, heals, and casts out unclean spirits. The reaction on the part of the people may seem disproportionate, but it also shows how lost and in need of truth and healing humanity was since the Fall: even the assembly and covenant with Israel in the Old Testament was just a preparation for the work of salvation that would begin in earnest with the Incarnation and ministry of Our Lord.
We continue Our Lord’s mission. The needs of humanity for truth, healing, and protection from evil haven’t diminished a bit. The difference now is that often they don’t know who to turn to. How do we respond to this? Not by avoiding a “mob” situation, but, rather, by not shying away from making Our Lord known. It may mean more work, but it’s the most important work we can do.
Readings: 2 Samuel 1:1–4, 11–12, 19, 23–27; Psalm 80:2–3, 5–7; Mark 3:20–21.