"When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, 'He has gone out of his mind.'"
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Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
Paradoxically, two verses in today’s Gospel bring together two things: Jesus’ ability to gather the crowds, and the scandal of his teaching.
“And the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.'”
There is some truth in saying that Jesus is announcing something crazy. His teaching is indeed folly to the world. Jesus’ logic is not the one we normally use. He teaches something that stubbornly moves in the opposite direction. It is foolish to turn the other cheek to someone who slaps you. It is foolish to forgive seventy times seven those who have wronged you. It is foolish to love one’s enemies or to pray for those who make us suffer. It is foolish not to trust the goods of this world. It is crazy to give up on violence. It is crazy to let yourself be captured, arrested, unfairly tried, and crucified while being innocent, and all this only for love.
Jesus madly loves you and me. He is not ashamed to say it, to show it, to prove it with his life. Saint Paul defined this as, precisely, “the madness of the Cross.” But, as he rightly pointed out, “God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength” (1 Cor 1:25).
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.