Reading: He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Matthew 12:48.
Good morning, happy Tuesday, and many blessings my dear family.
Jesus in today’s Gospel (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. 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.
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. Families who have adopted sons and daughters can understand this when all are treated equally as belonging to the one family. We are reminded that we are to love God and love our neighbor with one and the self-same love.
Jesus invites me here to become a disciple. This does not mean plodding along after him but becoming a cherished member of his family. Mary is the model disciple: she is fully open to God’s will and supports Jesus in his ministry. She is our gentle mother and helps all of God’s children to become brothers and sisters in the Lord.
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. Am I always aware of the priorities by which I lead my life?
Jesus identifies his sisters and brothers as those who do the will of God.. We are all God’s children, whom he desires to shape and mold into disciples of his love. His loving presence is reaching out to us in our lives even in the most unlikely situations. When we encounter God and walk the journey of faith with him, we can illuminate the world we live in with the light of his love.
Being brothers and sisters in Jesus implies a call to witness to our faith. Can I bring God’s love and compassion to others, especially the poor, marginalized and vulnerable?