Daily Reflection – July 19, 2016
Tuesday 19 July 2016
First Reading: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Lord, show us your mercy and love
Gospel Reading: Matthew 12:46-50
Today’s Note: Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you.”
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
“Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
Who is my mother? Who are my brothers and sisters? (Mathew 12:48)
Doesn’t it seem out of character for Jesus to dismiss his family so easily? What do you think Mary and the others thought when they heard him say these words?
Of course Jesus loved his family. Of course Mary held a special place in his heart. But here, as he was preaching and teaching, he decided to make an important point—and he emphasized that point by exaggerating it. Although it sounds extreme to us, Jesus’ audience most likely understood that he wasn’t really disowning his family. In a culture built on storytelling and oral tradition, exaggeration would have been quite common. Think, for instance, about another one of Jesus’ sayings: “If your hand . . . causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away” (Matthew 18:8). Everyone knew he wasn’t telling them to maim themselves. He was just telling them how dangerous and serious sin is.
So what does it mean that Jesus considers anyone who follows him to be in his family? Think about what an ideal family looks like. Families stick together in good and bad times. They are quick to forgive and slow to judge. They are loyal to each other and are always looking out for each other’s well-being. There is love and acceptance as well as a desire for everyone to succeed.
This is what you can expect from Jesus. He has established a connection with you that is thick as blood. He is more than a confidant or a close friend. He is your brother. If we are willing to go out of our way for our family, imagine how much more Jesus will do for us!
No earthly family is perfect, but Jesus is. He loves you and wants to help you in any way he can. He wants to see you become the man or woman of God that he knows you can be. All he asks is that you try your best to follow him. Remember: he has all the resources in the universe to help you reach your goal. And that’s no exaggeration!
“Thank you, Lord, for being so faithful to me. Give me the grace to trust in your love and provision. Jesus, I delight in being part of your family!”