Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection January 20, 2024


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R/.Let your face shine on us, Lord, and we shall be saved.

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. Open our hearts, O Lord, that we may pay attention to the words of your Son.

R/. Alleluia

At that time: Jesus went home with his disciples, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

1.      There is always a sharp contrast between the ways of God and the ways of the world. The ways of those who follow the Lord are not rightly understood or appreciated by those who follow the ways of the world.

2.       The reason is quite clear: Those who are on God’s side are in the light and truth. Their ways are just and fraternal. They are sincere and authentic. But those who are infected by the world are in the dark and falsity. They are unjust and uncharitable. They are dishonest and hypocritical.

3.       This difference causes a big distaste and resentment against those who are godly. In consequence, they are misjudged and even criticized and labelled to be “out of their senses”. They are considered to be foolish, not shrewd and prudent enough, not tactical and clever. They are thought to be unrealistic, mad, and crazy.

4.       These are different ways of self-defence and self-justification. The presence of sincerity pricks insincerity. The presence of altruism challenges egoism. The presence of patience and gentleness poses a question to anger and rudeness. The presence of authenticity exposes duplicity.

5.       Therefore, the only way is to put down those who are in the right and take away the credit for their virtue. This is what happens in the case of Jesus in the gospel. He was thought to be “out of mind” by his relatives.

6.       It was because he was not fitting into their judgment modes. He was so selfless and committed that he would not bother even about his meals. This is really madness according to worldly calculations.

7.       Similar is the case of David in the first reading. At the death of Saul, David mourns so much. He would not remember all the evil that Saul caused for him. Instead, he would exalt him. This is the way of the good-hearted and godly people. Sts Sebastian and Fabian too were men of God, in contrast to the world.

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