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Saturday, January 24, 2015

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St. Francis de Sales

Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9
Mark 3:20-21

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insane to the insane

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

Jesus' relatives said He was out of His mind. Each of us will also be called "out of our minds." Will this be because we are followers of Jesus or because our minds are conformed to the insanity of the world? (see Rm 12:2) We want to be able to say with St. Paul: "If we are ever caught up out of ourselves, God is the reason; and when we are brought back to our senses, it is for your sakes" (2 Cor 5:13). We are happy to be out of our minds or even our bodies (see 2 Cor 12:2-3) as long as God is the reason. It's an honor to be considered insane by the standards of an insane world.

The world should see us not only as insane, but as absurd (1 Cor 1:18). We should be viewed as fools for Christ (1 Cor 4:10). This explains why every Christian should expect to be persecuted (2 Tm 3:12). Our reaction to being called "out of our minds" and even to being persecuted is love and joy. By God's grace, we imitate Jesus and love our enemies (see Mt 5:44). We also rejoice in the measure that we share Christ's sufferings (1 Pt 4:13).

In summary, we are considered insane, absurd, and foolish. We are rejected, hated, and persecuted. Overshadowing it all, however, we have miraculous, divine, unconditional love and joy.

Prayer:  Father, may I be worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of Jesus' name (Acts 5:41).

Promise:  "All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness." —Ps 47:2

Praise:  St. Francis gave spiritual direction to St. Jane Frances de Chantal, who founded eighty-six convents in only thirty years.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014

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