His relatives . . . set out to seize him.

This short Gospel passage highlights a shocking Gospel theme. Many of Jesus’ own relatives failed to grasp his identity as the Son of God. They saw him only as “the carpenter, the son of Mary” (Mark 6:3). They even considered him “out of his mind” (3:21)!

How different Jesus was from earthly rulers! Among the conquering kings of history, you rarely hear of relatives rejecting them. Instead, their family members considered it to their advantage to associate themselves with whoever was in charge. They often leveraged their connections to gain titles and profitable offices.

But when Jesus began to act like the long-awaited Messiah-King of Israel, his relatives saw their connection to him as an embarrassment. They rushed to “seize” him early in his ministry as he began attracting huge crowds with his teaching and healing (Mark 3:21). It seems that his divine nature had remained hidden during all the time that he lived in the quiet village of Nazareth, but now it was bursting forth in deeds of power and rumors of a new teaching that had come from God himself.

In some ways, God still remains “hidden” today—in his followers. He doesn’t always reveal himself in flashy demonstrations of power or bursts of heavenly glory. But he does reveal himself in the ordinary, in our works of love and mercy. These works won’t bring you power, fame, or wealth, but that’s okay. There’s a different power at work in those who minister in his name, the power to change human hearts.

So seek out the Lord Jesus hidden in the Eucharist, in the priest hearing your confession, in the prayerful reading of the Bible, and in parents loving their families. Find him in a friend’s compassion, in your spouse’s patience, and in the distressing disguise of the poor. Jesus is there. He sees and inhabits them all. He sees and values your own hidden sacrifices, too. He is humble enough to be “hidden” within you.

“Jesus, open my eyes to see you. Make me like you, Lord.”

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


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