Tuesday of the 3rd Week of the Year

Mk 3:31-35

Jesus and His Family

I received a text message before that says: “There are five balls we juggle in life: family, friends, health, work and spiritual life. Remember, of these five, only work is made of rubber. The rest are made of glass. Don’t drop any of them. They are fragile. Handle with care.”

But Carle Zimmerman, in his 1947 book Family and Civilization, recorded his keen observations of the disintegration of various cultures with the parallel decline of family life in those cultures also. Some of the observations were: Marriage loses its sacredness due to frequently broken by divorce; Lost of traditional meaning of the marriage ceremony; Feminist movements abound; Increased public disrespect for parents and authority; Acceleration of juvenile delinquency, promiscuity and rebellion; Refusal to accept family responsibilities; Growing desire for and acceptance of adultery; Increasing interest in and spread of sexual perversions and sex-related crimes.

Today’s gospel also, it seems that Jesus ignore His own mother and relatives when they press to see Him. And yet God since the beginning did not intend for us to be alone but to be with others.  He gives us many opportunities for developing relationships with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Actually, Jesus is teaching His disciples a truth about the Kingdom of God.  On this occasion where people are listening to Him, He teaches them higher reality of spiritual kinship, namely the family of God. An early martyr once said: “A Christian’s only relatives are the saints.”

There are two things we should learn from this gospel passage which is about Jesus and His Family:

First, we belong to the family of God by doing His will. Jesus says: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Through these words, physical or biological closeness to Christ does not count. A true kinship is not just a matter of flesh and blood. Here Jesus truly emphasizes that spiritual relationship is superior than family ties especially that sometimes our family do not understand us when we serve God. What truly makes someone related to Christ is a certain type of action: doing the will of His Father. We should have a heart that puts God’s will above every other attraction, priority, feeling or convenience. We have to do God’s will and nothing else counts. Concretely, this is to live in charity; be faithful to our duty as a husband, wife, student, son or daughter. Seek out souls as Christ seeks out souls. Live the teachings of the Church. No sophisms. No excuses. Just do it. It is that simple. And it is that hard.

Second, Mary is the model of doing the will of God for us mere mortals. Our Blessed Mother did not pride her privileged place in the history of salvation. On the contrary, Mary was the handmaid of the Lord. She listened very attentively God’s word, meditated upon it and when the angel said it to her she answered: “Yes” to God’s plan of salvation and acted on it when given the opportunity. God’s will was the most important one in her life. She knew that her life had no meaning outside God’s will. She didn’t try to escape the reality of her situation or seek fulfillment in any creature. She sought her perfection and happiness from the source of all holiness and perfection, Jesus Himself.

In other words, Mama Mary is teaching us how to be a member of God’s family and how to be a close relative of Jesus.

See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

OPTION  01,   02,   03,

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