DAILY MEDITATION: "Here are my mother and my brothers..."
Liturgical day: Tuesday 3rd in Ordinary Time
Gospel text (Mc 3,31-35): Jesus' mother and brothers came. As they stood outside, they sent someone to call him. The crowd sitting around Jesus told him, "Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you". He replied, "Who are my mother and my brothers?". And looking around at those who sat there he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me".
"Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me"
Fr. Josep GASSÓ i Lécera
(Ripollet, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, we find Jesus surrounded by a crowd of people in both a very concrete and compromising scene. Jesus' closer relatives had arrived from Nazareth and Caphernaum. But, seeing so many people around, they chose to wait outside and send for him instead. The crowd tells him: "Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you. He replied, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" (Mk 3:31).
Jesus' answer is by no means a rejection towards his relatives. Jesus just moved away from them to follow the divine call and now, He also means that, intimately, He has given them up too: not because of lack of feelings or scorn of his family ties, but because He completely belongs to God the Father. Jesus Christ actually lived what He precisely expects from his disciples.
Jesus has chosen a spiritual family instead of his earthly one. He looks over the heads of those sitting next to him and says: "Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me" (Mk 3:34-35). In other places of his Gospel, Saint Mark mentions Jesus glancing around too.
Is Jesus trying to tell us his only relatives are those who listen to him attentively? Of course not! His relatives are not those who listen to him but those who listen to and abide by God's will: it is those who are his brother, his sister, his mother...
Jesus is exhorting those sitting there —and everybody else— to enter their hearts in spiritual communion with him by abiding with the Divine Will. At the same time, however, He also praises his mother, the Virgin Mary, who is always blessed for having believed.