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Saturday, January 24, 2004

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St. Francis de Sales

2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27
Psalm 80
Mark 3:20-21

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just call me crazy

"When His family heard of this they came to take charge of Him, saying, 'He is out of His mind.' " —Mark 3:21

You may have told someone or been told: "You are out of your mind." Little did you know that you or your critic were quoting the Scriptures. If you have been told you were out of your mind, you may be in good company, for Jesus was told that very thing.

Jesus was accused by his relatives of being crazy because He sacrificed so much to serve others that it was impossible for Him and His apostles to eat (Mk 3:20). May we also be accused of being crazy, not because of our irrational behavior, but because of our zealous self-sacrifice and loving service.

Ultimately, Jesus was accused of being crazy because of the cross. "Christ crucified" has always been "a stumbling block to Jews, an absurdity to Gentiles; but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the Power of God and the Wisdom of God" (1 Cor 1:23-24). The cross and Christians who carry it daily (see Lk 9:23) are crazy according to the world.

Because of our love for Jesus, let us rejoice at the privilege of being considered crazy for the reason Jesus was thought to be crazy. May we boast in "the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through it, the world has been crucified" to us and we to the world (Gal 6:14). Rejoice in being accused of being crazy as Jesus was accused.

Prayer:  Father, give me the privilege of sharing in the rejections and false accusations Christ suffered.

Promise:  "Shepherd of Israel, hearken, O Guide of the flock of Joseph! From Your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth." —Ps 80:2

Praise:  St. Francis de Sales pastored his flock with gentleness, patience, understanding, and great love.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Crucified to the World on audio AV 40A-3 or video V-40A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003