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The Sober Truth

... they set out to take charge of Him, convinced He was out of His mind
Genesis 3:9-15; Psalm 130:1-8; II Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35

Sermon Week Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 3:21

At a career building seminar, the keynote speaker made the following observation: "Taking the safe road, doing your job, and not making waves may not get you fired, but it sure won't do much for your career over the long haul. Administrators are easy to find and cheap to keep. Leaders — risk takers — are in very short supply. And those with vision are pure gold." -1

Whether that is good advice for job seekers early in their career, I do not know. But this I do know. Jesus was the ultimate risk-taker -- never taking the safe road and always making waves — and His vision more precious than gold.

In today's Gospel Lesson, although it is still early in Jesus' public ministry, the things He is saying and doing already are making waves among the religious Establishment. In general, the crowds Jesus is attracting are impressed with His power to heal and to "cast out devils." But the religious authorities see Him as a dangerous, risk-taking non-conformist -- a potential threat to their authority. They seem convinced that Jesus' power comes from the "Evil One." The Scribes from Jerusalem are saying, "Beelzebub is in Him. It is through the prince of devils that He casts devils out" (Mk. 3:22). Moreover, when Jesus' own relatives hear of the things He is saying and doing, they think He has gone mad. As the Gospel writer puts it, "... they set out to take charge of Him, convinced He was out of His mind" (Mk. 3:21).

If this seems a bit weird, try making a list of some of the risks Jesus asks us to take in our relationships with others. Then show it to some people who know you well, even some close relatives. Tell them you are going to live in this manner. For example, tell them you are going to follow Jesus' instructions for achieving greatness:

“Happy the gentle, they shall have the earth for their heritage” (Matthew 5:4).

“The least among you all, that is the one who is great” (Luke 9:48).

“If anyone wants to be first he must make himself [...]

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