Today’s reading from Mark 3:7-12 painted quite a scene for my imagination. People come from far and wide to see and hear Jesus. He performed many miracles and as a result the crowd grows larger and larger to the point that Jesus is going to be crushed. He tells the disciples to get a boat so that he can speak to the people and not be trampled. This scene was the springboard for further pondering...
Imagine you’re one of the people in the crowd. The crowd is enormous. People behind you are carrying a crippled friend and they are ready to knock you to the ground to get to Jesus. Personal space doesn’t matter. There is jostling for position. You’re on the verge of either a panic attack or decking the guy who keeps elbowing your kidney when Jesus speaks and a hush falls over the crowd. The jostling stops and calm descends.
Jesus speaks with authority and talks about a God who loves the lost and the broken. You’re lost, you’re broken, you could use some love from a God who knows you better than you know yourself. The people around you are mesmerized.
Then Jesus begins to speak about forgiveness. He says you are to forgive always. You hear someone behind you mumble, “You don’t know my brother-in-law.” You hear someone else say, “This guy hasn’t met my wife.” Jesus continues to speak about forgiveness and you see people trying to push their way out of the crowd.
Jesus continues to talk about those who will be with him in God’s Kingdom. Jesus says that he is the Bread of Life and that you must eat his flesh and drink his blood. “What?” cries the person in front of you, “That’s cannibalism!” Many, many more people leave.
These were the people who followed Jesus 2000 years ago and still follow him today. Are you with the people who want the miracles and nothing else? Are you with the people who don’t want to forgive? Are you with the people who can not accept Jesus’ teaching about the Real Presence in the Eucharist?