I Must Be Out of My Mind


I Must Be Out of My Mind

Sunday, June 10, 2024 – (Mark 3:20-35)

“He is out of his mind.”

In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus faces a moment of profound misunderstanding from his own family. As he immerses himself in his vocation, fully committed to the work before him, those closest to him question his sanity. This passage highlights the tension between personal conviction and societal expectation, showcasing the radical nature of Jesus’ mission.

In a world where conformity often reigns supreme, Jesus stands out as a beacon of nonconformity. He challenges the status quo, confronts injustice, and prioritizes the needs of the marginalized over the comfort of the powerful. Yet this unwavering dedication to his calling inevitably leads to skepticism and criticism from people on all sides, religious and secular, who cannot comprehend his purpose.

This hits home for me. I find that in committing myself to my own vocation, people often think I’m out of my mind because they see me as non-conformist too.  Some view me as unconventional when I advocate for the marginalized, stressing the imperative to prioritize the needs of the poor, whether poor in terms of material wealth or in spiritual nourishment. In their eyes, standing with the marginalized or voiceless marks me as a dangerous radical who is clearly undermining the Church’s core tenets and bent on destroying the Church from within by my apparent lack of orthodoxy.

On the other hand, others question my sanity for remaining within – or worse, actively working for – the Church.  How, they ask, can I possibly justify my place and work in an institution they deem archaic, inconsequential, hypocritical, and fundamentally flawed?

This dual scrutiny reflects my reality. And my confusion. Who, exactly, am I not conforming with? On one side of the coin, my solidarity with the marginalized challenges institutional norms, inviting accusations of subversion. On the other side, my allegiance to a Church facing critique and condemnation from various quarters draws skepticism and disbelief. And both sides think I’m out of my mind. As I stand deliberately in this place, holding this tension, taking furious criticism from all directions, I find myself often thinking the same thing. “I must be out of my mind.”

Like Jesus, I’m committed to my calling. But in doing so, I face criticism from those who cannot comprehend the depth of my convictions. Yet Jesus remained steadfast in his mission despite the doubts and opposition he encountered, and I find strength in following his example. In embracing the craziness of standing with the marginalized and remaining faithful to my vocation within the Church, I follow in the footsteps of a radical and revolutionary leader who dared to challenge norms of his time. It’s in this non-conformity (to whatever norm it is people think I should be adhering to) that I find purpose and fulfillment, knowing that I am working towards a vision of a more just and compassionate world. And if it means being labeled as “out of my mind”, well… at least I know I’m in good company.

By Darcie Lich