Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
By JENNIFER BURGIN
Jesus came with his disciples into the house. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
I'm sure at one time or another someone labeled you as "crazy" for something you did, said, or believed in. Oftentimes we embarrass our friends and family. We go about doingour own thing clueless how our words and actions affect others.
My mother reminds me of my own childhood craziness. I threw terrible temper tantrums as a little girl, especially in the grocery store. When I didn't get candy I wanted, I screamed my little blonde head off. I dropped to the floor and threw a hissy fit with arms, legs, and pigtails flailing about. My mom "scolded" by walking away in silence. With my mom out of sight, I didn't feel the need to cry anymore. I immediately lost focus on that candy bar: Poof, out of mind!
Jesus Christ's own relatives thought he was "out of his mind" for preaching to large crowds and hanging out with lowly sinners. Hard to believe but true! Christ could have easily shooed away the crowds, eating with his disciples in peace; but, he decided against it. His ministry took precedence over any personal comforts.
At first glance, it appears like the relatives set out to seize Jesus for their own selfish reasons; however, most likely they wanted to protect Our Lord. They were concerned about his safety and well-being. Maybe if he was taken out of sight then the crowds will go away, and the chief Scribes and Pharisees will keep Jesus out of mind. If Christ pushed his luck with so-called blasphemy, certain death loomed.
Thomas a Kempis wrote: "Out of sight, out of mind. The absent are always in the wrong." When we fail to pay attention to our environment, and the people around us, we make false assumptions. We label someone as a "little off the rocker" when we haven't taken the time to get to know the person. We may even go so far as dump a whole group of people into "the loony bin" because their ideas and beliefs are so different from our own. We block out what we don't want to see or hear.
If we wish to be better Christians, we must remain in sight and mind. Be on the lookoutfor ways to help others instead of condemn. Don't discount those who may have strange ideas and perceptions. We may learn something new which will enhance our spiritual lives.
Pay attention! Keep eyes open and minds sharp as Disciples of Christ!
Today is the Feast Day of Saint Francis de Sales who is one of my favorite Doctors of the Church. Here are a few quotes to reflect on this coming week:
"The bee collects honey from the flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them."
"Always be as gentle as you can, and remember that more flies are caught with a spoonful of honey than with a hundred barrels of vinegar."
"We are not drawn to God by iron chains, but by sweet attractions and holy inspirations."
St. Francis de Sales, Pray for Us!
This meditation was written by Jennifer Burgin. Please follow her blog: Jennifer's Spectrum of Spirituality