“HAVE YOU GONE CRAZY?” (Mk 3:20-21): 26 January 2008 (Timothy and Titus, Saturday)

“HAVE YOU GONE CRAZY?” (Mk 3:20-21): 26 January 2008 (Timothy and Titus, Saturday)

Today’s Readings

Back in the 80s, one group whose songs made a mark was “Tears for Fears,” a duo made of Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal.  They wrote strange verses and sang their angst-ridden songs like they were on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  Later the duo split up.  There were even rumors that one of them ended up in a mental institution (Not true).  Can’t blame the public, what with all those songs about emotional distress and primal therapy!

The first hit of Tears For Fears was “Mad World.”  In the music video, Orzabal showed off these dance moves that can only be described as subversive.  The more daring among us tried to imitate him but only succeeded in looking like epileptics lost in the dance floor.

The narrator in the song helplessly watches the world around him go crazy as he observes:

“All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
And their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression.”

But in the refrain he goes on to say that “the dreams in which (he’s) dying are the best (he’s) ever had.”  At this point you’re not sure anymore who’s crazy—the world or the narrator.  Or both.

In the gospel reading today, Jesus and his disciples end up skipping their meals because of all the people asking for help and healing.  His relatives decide he’s gone out of his mind. In another gospel account, even his mother is among his relatives, just as concerned and worried, and they try to take him away.

That must have stung. The people closest to him and dearest to him misunderstood him.  Of all people!  They actually mistook him for crazy when he was really just trying to do good to other people.  But that must have been an experience familiar to the Lord.  All his life he would be misunderstood till the very end by his disciples, and he would be considered strange because the world couldn’t figure him out.  The world was simply too flat for one as odd as he.

But when you think about it, who really was the crazy one?  The Lord or the world?  I wonder what the Lord must have felt when word from his relatives reached him.  I wonder how he must feel today when he gazes at our world.  We continue to misunderstand God, don’t we?  And there are times when we wonder—sometimes secretly or at others out loud—if he’s gone crazy.  But can you imagine how he must feel when he watches the much stranger, much crazier, and more violent ways of our world?

I suspect it may not be too far from the sentiments of the song.

Note:  Here are the lyrics of the song “Mad World.”  I’ve also uploaded a haunting cover of it done by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews from the soundtrack of the cult film“Donnie Darko.”  It was No. 1 in the UK in 2003.  I’ve also uploaded the original, very 80s music video by Tears For Fears in case you’d like to watch and get a blast from the past.

Mad World
(R. Orzabal)

“All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
And their tears are filling up
their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to
drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

“And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying
Are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Coz I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It’s a very, very Mad World
Mad World

“Children waiting for the day
they feel good
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
Made to feel the way that
every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was
very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me
what’s my lesson
Look right through me,
look right through me

“And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying
Are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you
‘Coz I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It’s a very, very Mad World, Mad World, halogeon world,”

Here’s a Quick Question for you:  “Have you been so misunderstood before that people actually thought you were crazy?”  Think about it, and share an insight, a feeling, or a question.

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