Good morning, happy Tuesday, and many blessings.
Jesus in this reading, Matthew 12:46-50, speaks of two ways he says the people around him belong to his family. Firstly, he belongs to the family he was born into, to that of his mother and relations. His other family is made up of those who do the will of God who from now will be his true intimates. Mary belongs to both, but she is preeminently the one who has said, “let it be done onto me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). For this reason, she is the first disciple of Jesus and the model Christian.
I wonder what did Mary and family want to speak to him about? The evidence is that they were coming from home to take him back home. Jesus, with his teaching and challenging religious views, was becoming an embarrassment if not a danger to his family. Jesus' way of life would lead him into opposition with those closest to him, his family. This text can give rise to criticism of Jesus for being disrespectful to his mother and brothers. However, we should read it in the light of how he wishes to extend his family, so that we are all members of the one family where God is our father and mother.
The central question that Jesus raises is "Who is my mother?". His answer is provocative and is meant to get people thinking about priorities. His biological and psychological relationship with Mary, his mother, is a given. Jesus has no intention of dishonoring that. But there is another relationship that is based, not on blood but on faith. It comes from answering the call of Jesus to follow him. We know it as discipleship. This has priority over any other form of human relationship.
Now we can ask: Am I always aware of the priorities by which I lead my life? This is the true intimacy Jesus calls you into. Talk to Jesus about this extraordinary call and to Mary about how she felt about being in this extraordinary relationship with Jesus. Being a disciple brings a great privilege: it means that I am a member of the family of Jesus. He looks on me with the same affection that he shows to his mother and brothers.
Belonging to God is basic relationship, prior to all human relations. We came from God before we came from father and mother. There are times when family goes second to God. How would Mary have taken this statement? Was she being diminished? Her faith was deep and strong enough to know that her spiritual relationship to her Son was stronger even that the human mother-son relationship.
Because I at least try to do the will of God, I am a member of Jesus’ inner family circle! Let this make me happy today.