A Vincentian View: Out of your Mind

by | Feb 1, 2023 | Formation, Reflections

Has anyone ever accused you of being “out of your mind?”  You know, you try to do something that seems beyond your abilities, and people—even friends—tell you that you are out of your mind.  You try to change something that everyone agrees is unchangeable, and they say you are out of your mind.

What do you think?  Do you think that you are really out of your mind, or just that you aim higher on some matter than anyone else, and you are prepared to give it your best effort?  Could you be taking a broader perspective, and seeing a fuller context, and be willing to act on that insight?  Could you be looking more deeply into an issue and seeing a more profound truth that captures your heart and soul?  Are you out of your mind, or allowing the fullness of your seeing and acting and thinking to take hold of your heart and soul.  Perhaps, you are seeing a good and beauty that escapes others.  Perhaps, you are discovering a depth and richness that had escaped you before.  Perhaps, you desire to do something that others find foolish and wasteful.  Saints and poets and scientist have made revelations and insights that seemed crazy until they were proved true and holy.

In these past weeks, we heard a short Gospel story in which people draw Jesus’ reason into question.  He comes to a home where you might expect him to rest and take a meal, but he does not do so.  The call of the Gospel is too powerful and he pushes aside these ordinary comforts and continues his preaching and healing ministry.  This captures the attention of his relatives and neighbors.

When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him,

for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

Note that Jesus desires to act in a way that is more important than food and rest.  Thus, he is crazy.  It is another way of saying “I would never do that” and, therefore, he is out of his mind.

How many times in his ministry could Jesus be described as “out of his mind” by those who do not feel the pull of faith or hear the call of the Gospel:

  • Standing at the tomb of Lazarus and calling him forth;
  • Taking some bread and a few fish, and directing his disciples to feed a hungry crowd;
  • Lifting some bread and wine and calling them his “body and blood;”
  • Calling Peter out of the boat to walk on water;
  • Telling the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the paralyzed to walk.

Jesus was never controlled by what others thought or how they acted.  He responded to a different voice and a higher calling.

What about us?  Are we controlled by the ordinary and the fear of being called “out of our minds” by some of the ways that we act and speak?  When we strive for the benefit of others, we could be called worse.  We would be in good company.