Sep 22 2020 Reflection
Tuesday 22 September 2020
First Reading: PRV 21:1-6, 10-13
Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
PS 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44
Gospel Reading: LK 8:19-21
Today’s Note: Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you.”
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
Your mother and your brothers are standing outside. (Luke 8:20)
His family couldn’t get close to Jesus. The crowd—people from “one town after another” who had traveled to see to him (Luke 8:4)—blocked the way. So they sent word to Jesus: Here we are standing outside, and we want to see you. Jesus’ response probably surprised both the crowd and his family: “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it” (8:21).
First, let’s get this out of the way: Jesus was not condemning his family. Think about it—if ever there was someone who heard God’s word and acted on it, it was his mother, Mary. But Jesus was pointing to a bigger truth. Blood relationship did not entitle them to special privileges. It must have surprised his family when he did not come out to meet them. But he wasn’t rejecting them. Rather than narrowing or shutting his family circle, Jesus was expanding it. He was bringing everyone who hears and obeys God’s voice into his family.
This must have also surprised the crowd. Think of the effort they had gone to so that they could see Jesus. Think of how much they wanted to hear his words and receive healing from this Galilean miracle worker. But family is family, they must have thought. Of course Jesus would give priority to his mother. How would it have affected them when Jesus said they were his mother and brothers and sisters as well! Their actions showed that they were pursuing Jesus with faith. And he told them they had access to him and a special place in his heart. It probably made them want to follow him all the more.
The same applies to you. You are a treasured member of Jesus’ family. As you listen to his word and let it sink into your heart and mind, you can sense his closeness. In your actions—whether serving your family or the needy or offering forgiveness or encouragement—you can see his face in those you care for. The more time you spend with Jesus and the more you follow his way, the closer you’ll feel to him. Just like family.
“Lord, thank you for making me part of your family!”