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Recognizing Jesus

“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.’”  (Mark 3:20-21)

One of the persistent threads that makes its way through the Gospel of St. Mark is that of Jesus’ identity.  The evil spirits which he casts out know who he is and announce it rather openly.  The Roman centurion who asks him to cure his servant expresses faith in him that seems to indicate that he knows who he is.  However, the Jewish people, who have actually been waiting for the appearance of the Messiah, simply don’t seem to be able to recognize Jesus.  This, according to St. Mark, even extends to his family who are clearly embarrassed by Jesus’ show of power and authority.

While we sit and scratch our heads wondering how this could be so, we also need to ask ourselves whether we would have recognized Jesus.  Of course, the answer to that question can be found in whether we recognize Jesus in our midst right here and now.  If we claim to recognize Jesus in our midst, are we acting upon our knowledge?  To borrow a catch phrase from a by-gone era, if someone accused us of being a Christian, a follower of Jesus, would there be enough evidence to convict us?

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator      

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