Ordinary Sunday 12, 25 June 2017 -Vicar’s Reflection
Jesus was not especially family friendly. It can be upsetting to be reminded of this. Jesus and his family were sometimes at odds with each other, as in Mark 3.21: “Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind.’” There’s many a young person whose career-choice was disapproved of by family. In today’s Gospel (Matthew 10) Jesus describes family strife over ultimate values. Is a call from God more important than family harmony? There are two sides to this problem: how and by whom is God’s call determined; and, what is the real basis of family harmony? There are well tried means of testing a call from God: the call must have scriptural support, there must be a persistent personal sense of call; it mustn’t be contrary to common sense (no leaping off tall buildings please!); other mature and spiritual Christians must support the call; and the circumstances through which the call is indicated. On the other side, families are complex, dynamic and emotional networks of relationships, with plenty of scope for tension and conflict, but the basis of family life is love and wanting the best for each member. In the case of Jesus in Mark 3, was it more important to heal the sick or to get dinner on the table? His family thought dinner was more important, as families often do.