Tuesday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
as you guide creation
to your law of love.
love one another
eternal life prepared for us.
this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Gospel Reading - Luke 8,19-21
mother and his brothers came looking for him, but they could not get to him
because of the crowd.
told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.’ But
he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of
God and put it into practice.’
Gospel today presents the episode in which the relatives of Jesus and also his
Mother want to speak with him, but Jesus does not pay attention to them. Jesus
had problems with his family. Sometimes the family helps one to live the Gospel
and to participate in the community. Other times, the family prevents this. This
is what happened to Jesus and this is what happens to us.
• Luke 8,
19-20: The family looks for Jesus. The relatives reach the house where
Jesus was staying. Probably, they had come from Nazareth. From there to
Capernaum the distance is about 40 kilometres. His Mother was with them.
Probably, they did not enter because there were many people, but they sent
somebody to tell him: “Your Mother and your brothers are outside and want to
see you”. According to the Gospel of Mark, the relatives do not want to see
Jesus, they want to take him back home (Mk 3, 32). They thought that Jesus had
lost his head (Mk 3, 21). Probably, they were afraid, because according to what
history says, the Romans watched very closely all that he did, in one way or
other, with the people (cf. Ac 5, 36-39). In Nazareth, up on the mountains he
would have been safer than in Capernaum.
• Luke 8,
21: The response of Jesus. The reaction of Jesus is clear: “My mother
and my brothers are those who listen to the Word of God and put it into
practice”. In Mark the reaction of Jesus is more concrete. Mark says: Looking
around at those who were sitting there he said: “Look, my mother and my
brothers! Anyone who does the will of God, he is my brother, sister and mother
(Mk 3, 34-35). Jesus extends his family! He does not permit the family to draw him
away from the mission: neither the family (Jn 7, 3-6), nor Peter (Mk 8, 33),
nor the disciples (Mk 1, 36-38), nor Herod (Lk 13, 32), nor anybody else (Jn
• It is
the Word of God which creates a new family around Jesus: “My mother and my
brothers are those who listen to the Word of God, and put it into practice.” A
good commentary on this episode is what the Gospel of John says in the
Prologue: “He was in the world that had come into being through him and the
world did not recognize him. He came to his own and his own people did not
accept him”. But to those who did accept him he gave them power to become
children of God: to those who believed in his name, who were born not from
human stock or human desire, or human will, but from God himself. And the Word
became flesh, he lived among us; and we saw his glory, the glory that he has
from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. (Jn 1,
10-14). The family, the relatives, do not understand Jesus (Jn 7, 3-5; Mk 3,
21), they do not form part of the new family. Only those who receive the Word,
that is, who believe in Jesus, form part of the new family. These are born of
God and form part of God’s Family.
situation of the family at the time of Jesus. In the time of Jesus, the political
social and economic moment or the religious ideology, everything conspired in
favour of weakening the central values of the clan, of the community. The
concern for the problems of the family prevented persons from being united in
the community. Rather, in order that the Kingdom of God could manifest itself
anew, in the community life of the people, persons had to go beyond, to pass
the narrow limits of the small family and open themselves to the large family,
toward the Community. Jesus gives the example. When his own family tried to
take hold of him, Jesus reacted and extended the family (Mk 3, 33-35). He
created the Community.
brothers and the sisters of Jesus. The expression “brothers and sisters of
Jesus” causes much polemics among Catholics and Protestants. Basing themselves
on this and on other texts, the Protestants say that Jesus had more brothers
and sisters and that Mary had more sons! The Catholics say that Mary did not
have other sons. What should we think about this? In the first place, both
positions: that of the Catholics as well as that of the Protestants, start from
the arguments drawn from the Bible and from the Traditions of their respective
Churches. Because of this, it is not convenient to discuss on this question
with only intellectual arguments. Because here it is a question of the
convictions that they have and which have to do with faith and sentiments. The
intellectual argument alone does not succeed in changing a conviction of the
heart! Rather, it irritates and draws away! And even if I do not agree with the
opinion of the other person, I must respect it. In the second place, instead of
discussing about texts, both we Catholics and the Protestants, we should unite
together to fight in defence of life, created by God, a life totally disfigured
by poverty, injustice, by the lack of faith. We should recall some phrase of
Jesus: “I have come so that they may have life and life in abundance” (Jn 10,
10). “So that all may be one so that the world will believe that it was you who
sent me” (Jn 17, 21). “Do not prevent them! Anyone who is not against us is for
us” (Mk 9, 39.40).
your family help or make it difficult for you to participate in the Christian
• How do
you assume your commitment in the Christian community without prejudice for the
family or for the community?
Yahweh, the way of your will,
will observe it.
understanding and I will observe your Law,
it wholeheartedly. (Ps 119,33-34)