A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What kind of family member are you?

Today’s readings feature two very different kinds of extended family relationships.

In the first reading (2 Timothy 1:1-8), Saint Paul writes to Saint Timothy about two members of Timothy’s family.

I recall your sincere faith
that first lived in your grandmother Lois
and in your mother Eunice
and that I am confident lives also in you.

Today’s Gospel (Mark 3:20-21) gives us an example of very different family relationships, involving the extended family of our Lord himself.

When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him,
for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

Timothy’s mother and grandmother were sharers of the faith, which took deep root in him.

The attitude of our Lord’s family seems quite different. There is ambiguity in the text, however, since it is not absolutely certain who was the “they” that said our Lord was "out of his mind." Nor is it clear that all of his family came with the same motives (especially since, as we hear later in this chapter) our Lord’s mother would be among them.

Some of his family may have thought he was crazy or perhaps his family was hearing other people say he was crazy. Some may have come to cover-up what they may have thought a blot on the family honor, some may have been concerned about his welfare (and sought to seize him protectively rather than leave him to the mercies of mobs and governments), and some may have come to restrain the others.

Among the questions that these readings set before us are these:

What kind of a family member am I? (I personally am not at all as good as I should be.)

How do I relate as a Christian to others in my immediate family and in my extended family?

Do I share faith and kindness? Or do I ignore my faith in my longest and most personal relationships?

Do I exercise discernment in relating with my family or do I simply react viscerally or am I just coasting?

As today’s Responsorial Psalm says, we are to “proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations”, but we should be discerners and sharers of faith within our families as well.