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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

St Agnes

"He is out of his mind." Mk 3:21

When people do really good things for no apparent reason it is sometimes easier to question their motives than to enjoy their kindness. That is what seems to have happened to Jesus. Rather than celebrate his honesty, integrity and healing power, people suggested that he was "out of his mind." How awful, but how common.

I had the privilege of working with lots of people who others think are out of their minds, and in some ways they are, but simply because someone is mentally ill does not mean they don't think, feel, love, and care about the world. Perhaps it is our own fear of mental illness that gets in the way of our seeing the person behind or inside the illness, but it would be awful if, because of our fear, we missed the glory of God fully alive in them. Too many people missed knowing God incarnate by reducing Jesus to a "crazy person", and the same could happen to us.

If we cannot find Jesus in the next person we meet, no matter how "mad" they might seem, then we need to examine our hearts. Jesus was clear when he warned his contemporaries about having eyes that did not see and ears that did not hear. We need to pray not to sin in this same way.

Today, think of someone who others dismiss as "out of his mind" with eyes and ears anxious to know the person behind the illness.

What has been your experience with people who are mentally ill?

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