JULY 20. Ord Time B. Wk 16. Tue. Mt 12. 46-50
Jesus was speaking to the crowds when his mother and his brothers appeared; they were standing outside and were anxious to have a word with him. But to the man who told him this Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.’
Family is the source of Love, and the place where one learns Love, and bears witness to Love!
In this Gospel reading Christ is making it clear his definition of Family goes well beyond the traditional meaning.
But the central lesson is Love takes pride of place and is integral to family; - no matter its size or composition!
But then, in response to the question “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Christ goes on to define who he sees as his “family!”
“Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother!”
It could be said that Christ’s response to being told his immediate family was outside and wanting to see him, was not very loving, and even “cold”!
But on the other hand, there is also a genuine lesson here. Christ is taking the opportunity to point out he holds a very different view of “family” to that held by those he was talking with!
The point he is making is his intimate family “love” is shared with; - and available to; - those who strive to find and do “the Will of God!”
And is this not what Christ’s life was all about; teaching; - and living; - this new definition of “Love” and “Family”?
He was not cancelling or changing the commonly held view of these two terms; - but what he was doing was expanding it to incorporate a much larger group than that traditionally held!
And one effect of this new definition is what it meant; - and means today; - for sinners!
Christ’s mission and goal while living amongst us was to have sinners “Repent” and follow his teachings!
What the new definition of “family” means, is those who repent and follow his teachings are immediately made members of his family; - and embraced by his love!
Given we are all sinners, there is a powerful message here. It means that Christ wants to incorporate us all into his “family” and that all that is required is that we “repent” of our sins!
And the message of this Gospel is that this is what Christ desires; - that we repent of our pride and selfishness; - seek and do the will of God; - and so become members of his family!
Gospel Acclamation Jn14:23
All who love me will keep my words,
and my Father will love them and we will come to them.