When you deviate from the norm, you are oftentimes called out differently and people label you as “out of his mind.” Our Lord wasn’t spared either. In today’s Gospel, when Jesus and His disciples are not even able to eat their bread, his relatives come to take him away because they think “He is out of his mind.” And the scribes think he is possessed by the devil. Jesus points out to them the absurdity of their thinking that He “uses the devil to cast out demons”.
The scribes judging that Jesus’ work was done by the devil was actually a grievous mistake that they committed, which resulted into blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Awful pride and arrogance did them out of God’s grace.
As Jesus said,
Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.” (Gospel: Mk. 3: 20-35)
Just thinking that the Lord mentioned about blaspheming against the Holy Spirit as a sin that will NEVER have forgiveness, but “is guilty of an everlasting sin”, makes me shiver with fear! The shocking closed-mindedness of the church leaders at that time showed classic stubbornness! The root cause? Pride and arrogance.
Pride and arrogance cause division and disunity. Even in the news, we can read of personalities continued fighting over wealth, possessions and whatever. In our national life, the continued division by figures of the political spectrum is a daily spectacle. Without unity, progress will be slow and difficult.
The warning is also for us. Without our knowing it, if we become proud and protective of ourselves, we can be judgmental and self-righteous, two potent ingredients of pride. We may be fighting against a war that we can’t win, as we may be trading our souls for material possessions. Beware!
In His infinite wisdom and mercy, Jesus gives us the cure to pride and arrogance in the final verses: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Obeying the Lord is the requirement to become family with Him. We can’t continue to live in sin (thus staying away from the Lord) and expect to be truly happy. Separating from Him isn’t the solution to our problems and concerns. We have to be obedient, humble and faithful to Him. There will be challenges and trials to overcome, that’s why we have to trust and persevere while doing His work.
In humility, let us listen and discern to His leading in doing our share in building the Kingdom of God. When you feel becoming proud and arrogant, immediately seek the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. These are the only ways to be in unity with Him.
“Now the ruler of the world will be driven out, says the Lord; and when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” (Jn. 12:31B-32)