Homily for Jan 22, Saturday of the II week in Ordinary Time
Today’s gospel is probably the shortest of the whole year – but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have an important message. It tells us that Jesus had such a passion to preach His message, that He even forfeited His necessary food and rest so more people could hear Him. It’s not too surprising that His relatives thought He was out of His mind; they had seen Him grow up with an ordinary job like anyone else, and now He suddenly had become obsessed with talking about the Kingdom of God.
However, as St Paul says in the first letter to the Corinthians, “the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men.” Jesus’ family members didn’t have the necessary perspective to understand Jesus’ behavior; they didn’t understand His mission or His identity as the Messiah and Son of God. In retrospect, His actions make perfect sense. He had been sent into the world to “obtain eternal redemption” for all humanity. He knew that once He started preaching His message, He’d only have a short time before His enemies would put Him to death. As a consequence, He had to use every minute as intensely as possible. Giving up a few meals was more than worthwhile to ensure that, when He offered Himself up to God as an unblemished sacrifice on the Cross, the groundwork would be laid for His mission and sacrifice to be understood by those who had heard Him preach.
It is a good reminder for us that it is well worth it when we sacrifice our comfort in order to help others and to spread Christ’s love and His message. There are many ways to do that, whether it be directly, by participating in the ministries of the parish or other forms of outreach, or indirectly by our donations to support the parish and other good causes. Some people may say we are deluded and should do more to “Look out for #1”, but people said the same about our Lord Jesus Christ, so we will be in good company.