Tuesday of the 3rd Week of the Year

Mk 3:31-35

Jesus and His Family

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

I have a number of relatives and friends who are much closer to me than my first cousins. Here are the elements that bind us close together:

  • We have more or less the same outlook in life
  • We uphold similar values and principles
  • We have common interests and hopes
  • We share our life experiences, joys and sorrows, successes and failures/frustrations, problems and fears.
  • We care for one another’s welfare

In short, we are transparent to one another.

Aside from consanguine and psycho-social aspects of kinship, there is yet another dimension, that is, the spiritual; affinity that Jesus is referring to in today’s gospel. He says that those who hear and do the will of God are mother and sister and brother to him.

The will of God is the common denominator of our kinship with Jesus. Jesus came to do the Father’s will. His whole earthly life was of obedience to the will of God.

He was not at all denying his being the son of Mary, nor disowning his relatives. He was only stressing his priority in his relations. His assertion is just an indirect acknowledgment of his mother’s FIAT during the Annunciation and a challenge for us to imitate her unconditional obedience to the divine will. The deepest bond we share with anyone is our kinship in God, our common Father. (Sr. Angelita, SSpS Bible Diary 2004)

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Did Jesus Christ have brothers? Some say “Yes” because of the gospel passage of today. “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking an opportunity to speak to you.” “Brothers” in Semitic language is a generic term which also means ‘cousins.’ And this is what Saint Mark have meant,, otherwise the other evangelists would have mentioned that Jesus had brothers.

The Lord’s reply: “Who are my mother and my brothers?” sounded like a mark of disrespect or rejection of his close kins. Jesus did not mean that, however, but rather in Semitic fashion, it was a dramatic way of stressing a point, which in this case, is that spiritual relationship is more important than blood relationship.

True kinship is not always a matter of flesh and blood. You may have relatives but they hate you or even want to kill you. Then Jesus goes on to say that spiritual relationship is achieved by doing the will of God. “Whoever does the will of God is my pbrother and sister and brother.”

How do we know God’s will? One way is through the Scriptures, the word of God. Another way is through the Church, which teaches matters of faith and morals with the authority of God Himself. The will of God is further manifested to us in the duties and responsibilities of our state of life. And, very concretely, it is seen in the particular circumstances of our life or the so-called “signs of the times.” God’s will can be discerned also in the events of our day-to-day life, the unexpected death of a loved one, an incurable sickness, unjust sufferings or events that are beyond our control.

Knowing God’s will, can be easy, but putting it into practice is difficult. For instance, Jesus says, “Forgive your enemies not seven times but seventy times seventy.” Or, “if anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all,” all difficult to implement.

But as one author said: “”Knowing the will of God is the greatest knowledge; finding the will of God is the greatest discovery; and doing the will of God is the greatest achievement.” (Fr. Bel san Luis, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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The gospel for today has only one purpose. St. Marks wants to pinpoint who really are the brothers and sisters, the relatives of the Lord. St. Mark wants to define who are the VIPs in the Church, in the kingdom of God.

There were four types of people surrounding the Lord. One by one, right now, let us look at the four classes of people surrounding the Lord.

First of all, there was the crowd. These crowds were following the Lord not because they loved the Lord. They were following the Lord not because they believed in the Lord. This crowd followed the Lord because they needed something from God.

The Lord fed them. The popularity of Jesus was spreading far and wide. The Lord multiplied bread and the people came to know about this. So they rushed to Jesus not because of anything except that they needed something from Jesus. That was the first class of people – the crowd.

The second class of people surrounding the Lord was composed of His relatives: the family – the mother and the cousins of Jesus. The cousins surrounding Jesus discovered that Jesus was saying so many apparently foolish things. To them Jesus appeared to be losing His mind because He did not eat. They were embarrassed as they thought of having a relative who had gone mad. They wanted to force Him to go back home because they were embarrassed. That was the second class of people surrounding the Lord.

The third class of people surrounding the Lord included His enemies: the scribes and the Pharisees. Very evidently, even when the Lord was already multiplying bread, even when the Lord was already curing the sick and raising the dead to life,, the only thing that His enemy could say was, “He is from Satan. He is diabolical. He is not from God.” These were the enemies of the Lord.

And of course, the fourth group of people surrounding the Lord was those faithful to Him. Not related by blood, not related by anything, except by faith and love. When other people saw them, they were reminded of the presence of Jesus because He saw such people.

Four classes: The crowd, the relatives and family of the Lord, the enemies, and then the real faithful ones.

Nowadays, we can still classify people in the Church according to these four examples.

First of all is the crowd. They just go to the Lord because they need something. Ask yourself, “Why am I a Catholic? Is it because I was born a Catholic and my parents are Catholics? Is it because being a Catholic is the in thing?

Why are you a Catholic?

You know, if your reason for being a Catholic is simply because you need something from the Catholic Church, if your reason for being a Catholic is because all the others are Catholics so I might as well be a Catholic; if your reason for going to a Catholic Church is because you are a friend of the priest or you are a friend of a sister, then, there is something wrong with your commitment as a Christian.

These very same people will change their religion if they think God did not give in to their wishes. These are the very same people who will refuse to go to Church once they lose their jobs, their husbands, their boyfriends. In the face of difficulties and trials they will readily give up their faith, and say, “After all, I am just a Catholic because my parents are Catholics.”

The first group of people is the crowd. Do you belong to the crowd?

The second group of people is the family of the Lord. They were related to Jesus by blood. And yet they thought Jesus was doing so many foolish things already. Jesus was doing so many unacceptable things. And they cannot accept them. They’d rather accept Him at home.

There are the Catholics who are like that. They are called the Cafeteria Catholics. They will choose what they want and those things which they do not want which will be embarrassing, they will not follow, even if they were God’s command.

The Lord does not enter into their business. They go to Church. They become Catholics. Every Sunday but the Lord cannot interfere with the way they recreate. The Lord cannot interfere with their sex life. That is their own. They cannot abandon that. They cannot surrender that to God. They will forget being a Catholic if being one will cause them trouble and embarrassment.

The third group of people was the enemies. They brought down the Church and God. Maybe none of us here belongs to the third group of people.

But who among us belongs to the last group of people? Not related by blood, not related by anything else, except by love.

So, four classes of people: the crowd – they want to approach the Lord because they need something from the Lord and because it is fashionable to be with the Lord.

The family – they are related by blood but they cannot tolerate Jesus doing so many foolish and ridiculous things. They cannot bring the Lord in the bed they sleep on. They cannot bring the Lord in the computer while they work in the office. They cannot tolerate the Lord’s presence in their private and personal affairs – the enemies of the Lord.

And then of course, there are those who do the holy will of God.

Four choices. To which group do we really belong?

Let us not be so self-righteous as to jump quickly to say, “I belong to the fourth group. In the very real sense, we all have splinters of the enemies of the Lord, we all have splinters of those who follow the Lord but cannot do what He does.

One time, there was a Hindu spiritual leader who was renowned in the community to be a very wise man. Then there can this boy who wanted to disprove the wisdom of this old wise man. So this boy approached the old man and said, “I have a chick in my hand, can you tell if it is dead or alive.” Naturally,  if the old man said, “It is alive,” the boy would could simply squeeze the little chick to death. Now if the old man said, “The chick is dead,” the boy would let go and show it to be alive. So the old man answered, “The answer to your question lies in your hands.”

You have four choices. Will you just be one of the crowd, will you be an enemy of the Lord, will be a cafeteria Catholic or will you be a real friend of the Lord?

The answer is in your hands. I hope our answer is right. Amen. (Socrates Villegas, Only Jesus Always Jesus, 205-207)

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Eight Ways to Know God’s Will

(written by Christine in September, 2001)

If I told someone that God speaks to me and tells me His will, they would probably think I was crazy. The truth is, though, that God can speak to us, and he will if we’re sincere about listening.

Not much has been written on the topic of how to hear from God. Churches give some clues, but they tend to focus on one area to the exclusion of others. This study is an attempt to share our experience of hearing from God, so that you can put it into practical use yourselves. We list a number of different ways God can speak, so that you can get a more reliable understanding of what God is saying to you. Perhaps you can think of more ways than what we have, or you may word some of the ways listed here slightly differently. That’s fine.

Also, not all eight ways that we have listed here are equal in value, so we have listed them in order of importance.

First, Jesus’ Teachings Jesus, the Word of God, was God’s mouthpiece on earth. When wanting to know God’s will, who better to turn to? (John 14:6-7) If Jesus told his followers to do something, then you should seriously consider doing it too, if you want to be one of his followers. If you are considering doing something that goes against what Jesus taught, then you should seriously question it. It’s as clear as that. Jesus gives us really good general guidelines to follow. He couldn’t always give us instructions for specific circumstances we find ourselves in though, and that is where the rest of the ways to hear from God can be helpful. (See also The Word of God.)

Second, Your Conscience This one is almost as important as the teachings of Jesus. However, a conscience can be “trained”– for bad as well as for good (I John 3:20). So we need the teachings of Jesus to train our conscience at times. As you study the teachings of Jesus, you will see that they speak to your conscience. God’s Spirit, speaking through your conscience, will tell you that what he is saying is true. You should heed that voice and not sear your conscience by listening to arguments against what Jesus has said. (Romans 1:18-21)

The next five categories are all similar in importance. Problems can result with any of them, if any one is followed to the exclusion of the others.

Third, Advice from Godly People We should listen to the advice of godly people such as those who wrote the Bible or people around us who have proven themselves to be trustworthy spiritual advisors. It’s easy to be a “loose cannon” and want to do things “your own way”, but by accepting advice from others, you can get a “second witness” about God’s will for you (II Corinthians 13:1).

The weakness with this way of listening to God is that someone you’ve trusted in the past could give you advice contrary to the rest of what God is saying. It may go against your conscience or against the teachings of Jesus. St. Paul said that if he or an angel from heaven should say anything contrary to the gospel of Jesus then we should reject it and curse him in preference to rejecting Jesus (Galatians 1:8). (See also Loose Cannons.)

Fourth, Direct Revelations God can speak to us through dreams, visions and prophecies. We should take the time to listen to what he has to say. Ask God to give you dreams when you go to sleep; and each day when you pray take time to clear your mind of its busy thoughts and allow God to speak to you.

You may see a picture, have some words come into your head or have a little daydream which you have not consciously created yourself. In direct revelations God often speaks in “parables”. In this way, he can get a message through to you that you may have resisted when it came through other means. Once you have the revelation it is important to ask God for an interpretation of the lesson behind it and then to pray for an application of that lesson in something that has been happening in your life. You will need to do so with a willingness to accept the truth of the revelation, no matter how difficult it may be, because often the things God most wants to tell us are things that we are most likely to resist.

A weakness with direct revelations is that they may just be an expression of our subconscious, or in the case of dreams, they could actually be an attack from the devil (e.g. nightmares). A dream that is from God will provide a solution, and will not cause us to experience irrational fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7).

A combination of methods 3 and 4, can be quite reliable. If several godly people receive similar revelations in a community listening time, you can feel pretty confident that it is from God. (See also Hearing from God.)

Fifth, Circumstances God can set up circumstances to assist you in doing the right thing. Open or closed doors can make his will quite obvious. If, for example, you think God wants you to walk on water, but you try it and it doesn’t work, then he probably wasn’t the one telling you to walk on water! Easy, eh?

The weakness with this approach (if followed exclusively), is that there is a chance that God will want you to persevere under difficult circumstances and the devil will tempt you to give in, just on the grounds that it is too hard. Or the devil could tell you that a golden opportunity to do something that is wrong amounts to a set-up from God when it isn’t at all. You can’t rely entirely on circumstances, or you will end up just doing whatever is easiest.

Sixth, Coincidences Coincidences are a bit like circumstances, except that they are a lot more subtle. It has to do with the timing of a circumstance more than the significance of the circumstance itself. For example, if you’re considering visiting relatives and you happen onto something in the Bible or elsewhere where it talks about families drawing closer together, you could take it as a confirmation from God that you should go. Under other circumstances the passage in the Bible would not have had the same meaning for you.

It’s easy to become side-tracked by coincidences though. Some crazy people spend their whole lives looking for God to speak to them through coincidences for every little thing they do. You don’t need to create the coincidences. They will happen by themselves when they are from God, and it will be clear when they are.

Seventh, Desires God can speak to us on an emotional level through his Holy Spirit. This may be expressed in subtle ways, such as an interest in a particular activity. God wants us to enjoy what we do and we will do best what we enjoy doing most.

This one is similar to conscience (when we feel a strong conviction to either do something or not to do something), but it is more passive. If, for example, you like working with children, and if there is an opportunity to do so, and if God does not use some other direction to stop you from doing that, you should not feel bad about doing what you like doing.

The weakness with this is that the devil tempts us by making sin look enjoyable. Our interest, or motivation, in doing something will not always be pure; we need to recognise when that is so. Following our desires should only be used when it does not contradict other leadings from God.

Eighth, Miracles, or “Signs” God may choose to use a supernatural experience to reveal His will to people. At times people have asked God for a “sign” to confirm His will for them (e.g. Gideon, in Judges 6:17, 36-40). This is a practice that we have discouraged because it can easily turn into “tempting” God, and people have been punished for doing that (e.g. Zechariah, in Luke 1:18-20). The only times that God seems to have tolerated people asking for a sign, have been times when he was asking them to do something that goes very strongly against their natural reasoning.

Jesus warned that an evil generation seeks a sign. He said that instead of seeking signs or miracles, we should rely on the words of God’s messengers to know God’s will (Matthew 12:39). If God has already spoken through other means, then it is wrong to demand that He do a miracle to confirm it. (See also Miracles.)

When trying to hear what God is telling you, think about all eight ways that he could speak to you, and weigh them up against each other. There will not always be unity between all eight ways, but there should be a fairly strong leaning in one direction or the other.

It is important that you approach the matter of finding God’s will honestly and sincerely, being willing to interpret revelations etc. with an open mind and a willingness to do anything for God, no matter how hard it may be. The purpose of these eight different ways is to use them to get an overall idea of what God is leading you to do and then to act on it. If you do that, you can be sure that God will not fail you. Jesus said that if we ask God for the Holy Spirit, it is like a child asking her father for a fish. He will not give a serpent to the child (Luke 11:11-13). (See also The Reno Principle.)

If you consider only one way of hearing from God to the exclusion of others, you can easily delude yourself into thinking God is saying something that he is not.

Once you know what God is saying to you, you have a responsibility to follow it. If you ignore what He says to you, then chances are that you will gradually stop hearing from God (because you will destroy your ability to hear him) and you will become dead spiritually (I Timothy 4:2).

So what are you waiting for? Tune in to what God wants to tell you today.

(See Hearing What We Don’t Want to Hear.)

Source: cust.idl.net.au/fold/teach/Quakers/Eight%20Ways%20to%20Know%20God%27s%20Will.html

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January 29, 2013 – St. Gildas the Wise, Tuesday of the Third Week, GREEN; Heb 10:1-10, Ps 40, Mk 3:31-35

Jesus and His Family: 31[Jesus’] mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. 32A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers [and your sisters] are outside asking for you.” 33But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and [my] brothers?” 34And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 35[For] whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

REFLECTION: Who are my mother and my brothers? Jesus tells us that what matters to him is not blood relationship but the bond created by doing the Father’s will, just as he always does.

We can apply this to our present situation. What matters is not whether you are a Catholic or not, but whether you do the will of the Father. Belonging to the Church by baptism is a great grace, but as the Lord says in the Sermon on the Mount, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21).

The greatness of Mary comes not so much from the fact that she bore Jesus in her body but because she was a true disciple of her Son, doing the will of the Father like him, as St. Augustine says: Don’t be content with being a Christian or Catholic. Be a doer of the Father’s will.

Source: ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/2162-january-29-2013

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Reflection for January 27, Tuesday; Third Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 3:31-35 Reflection: In what way could we become a relative of Jesus? It’s when we do acts of mercy and compassion toward anyone in need. It’s when we help Jesus spread His good news of salvation to others most especially to those who have not heard yet of His gospel message.

To do good to our blood relatives is already a given fact of life. We help them because we are connected with them by consanguinity or through common family tree. Jesus in our gospel wants to stretch further our acts of mercy and compassion He wants us not to limit these acts of mercy and compassion to our own family circle only!

Say for example what if Jesus would ask us, could you also give the same help to a complete stranger in need? The same help that you would normally give to your blood relative/s? This is very difficult to do: To give help to a stranger with the same amount of help that we would normally do to our blood relative/s.

Nonetheless, this is the challenge for all of us if we want to be called a relative of Jesus: We must help anyone in need! In hindsight, why did Jesus said that whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother? Perhaps the purpose of which is to measure our desire to become a relative of Jesus.

Come to think of it, who wouldn’t want to become a relative of Jesus? Of course we all want! Therefore we must do good at all times to anyone and we must extend help to anyone for this is the will of God for us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Source: mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/01/reflection-for-january-27-tuesday-third.html

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LIKE FAMILY – “Who are my mother and my brothers?” – Mark 3:33

When I was young, I’d always get sick. But each time it happened, I’d always have my personal doctor on call — my mom. She always attended to my needs and made me feel safe and secure. Despite her busy schedule as a physician, she never left the house without first giving me the attention and comfort that I needed.

As I grew older, I got the chance to observe directly how she relates to her patients. And I discovered the secret why they love her and remain loyal to her.

She takes care of each patient just like how she would take care of me. She treats each one like she would her own child, sibling or parent. For her, everyone deserves the same concern and empathy.

Now that I’m following her footsteps as a doctor, I aspire to do the same — that every patient God entrusts to me, I will take care of like family. Didoy Lubaton (christianlubaton@yahoo.com)

Reflection: How you relate with your own family reflects how you relate with others.

Lord, may I see family in everyone I meet, and may they see You in me.

Source: kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-01-27

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January 26, 2016

REFLECTION: We all know the meaning of the often-heard statement that “blood is thicker than water,” and which means that, when the chips are down, I will always favor a blood relationship over other kinds of relationship (business, professional, work, etc.). Furthermore, even if I hate my brother’s guts and am very close to my best friend, if I must choose to help one of them financially, I will feel obligated to help my brother instead of my friend. “Blood is thicker than water.”

Well, with the coming of Jesus among us, all that is changed. For Jesus tells us in today’s gospel reading that dedication to doing God’s will creates a spiritual bond which is stronger than a blood relationship. In other words, doing God’s will creates a bond thicker than blood.

At first blush, this statement of Jesus might seem to somewhat belittle his relationship with Mary, his mother, since she is related to him by blood. But, of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Mary was more intent to do God’s will than any other creature ever was. Why? Because she was sinless, and therefore perfectly attuned to God and his will.

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines

Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205

Source: schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3424-january-26-2016

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Monday, January 25, 2016

TUESDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MARCOS 3:31-35. KINSA MAN ANG MGA SAKOP SA PAMILYA SA DIOS? Sa ordinaryong pagsabot, isipon nato nga kapamilya ang mga tawo nga atong kadugo. Apan, ang Kristohanong pagsabot sa pamilya mas labaw pa kaayo niini. Sa iyang sulat ngadto sa taga-Galacia, si San Pablo nagtudlo nga tungod sa pagtoo ug sa bunyag diha ni Kristo, nahimo kitang mga anak sa Dios (3:26). Ang atong pagkamanagsoon dili tungod sa dugo nga naglatay sa atong kaugatan kondili sa espiritu sa Dios nga naghiusa kanato. Diha sa ebanghelyo, si Kristo nagpatin-aw niini: “Si bisan kinsa nga mobuhat sa kabubut-on sa Dios ilhon nga akong mga igsoon ug inahan.” Nga sa ato pa, ang binunyagan mahimong tinuod nga kapamilya ni Hesus kon kini magpuyo subay sa iyang mga lakang ug kasugoan. Sakto ang giingon, “A Christian’s only relatives are the saints.” Posted by Abet Uy

Source: abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/01/tuesday-of-3rd-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Tuesday of the 3rd Week in the Ordinary Time

Hebrews 10:1-10;Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 10-11; Mark 3:31-35

Members of God’s family

Jesus had come that he might bring dispute in the family. Although what is reflected in the words if Jesus is the lived experience of the believers of the early church yet, is very much the experience of Jesus himself. Since he wanted to bring about the Kingdom of God bringing an end to every other force working against the Kingdom, he was sure to meet opposition from these forces. In today’s gospel, we see the result of the calumny spread by some people that he was out of his mind (3:21).

The reaction of the family to this calumny can be read in two ways: It must have been caused by the genuine feeling of concern about Jesus who is defamed by the enemies. The family wants to save him from further defamation. They must also have heard about the conspiracy of the Pharisees and the Herodians (3:6). In this case, they were concerned with his very safety. On the contrary, the possibility of the unbelief of his own relatives cannot be ruled out (Jn 7:5). If unbelief is the reason for his family’s reaction, we need to assume that they have joined those who work against the Kingdom of God. In this case, they stand outside the circle of Jesus and those who are listening to him are counted in his circle. Whatever way we read the story, we find Jesus redefining his familial relationship. It is no longer based on the biological relationship, but based on faith in Jesus. It is those who do the will of God by listening to Jesus and believing in him that are his mother, brothers and sisters!

In this surprising reaction of Jesus one wonders if he is rejecting his relationship with his biological family. However, Mary is the first human being who believed and did the will of God at the beginning of the process of incarnation. She would be there with him at the beginning of his public ministry at Cana (Jn 2:1-12) and at the end of it at the foot of the cross (Jn 19:25-27). Similarly, James, brother of the Lord was at the head of the Church at Jerusalem (Gal 1:19).

The response of Jesus is also a shaded critique on unbelieving Jews who prided themselves on the fact that they were Jews who belonged to the family of God. It is a corrective given to them and all others who aspire for an automatic inclusion of themselves in the family of God. Whoever you are, in the scheme of the Kingdom of God, God’s familial relationship has to be merited by means of faith and the corresponding works. Dr. Benny Thettayil CMI

Source: navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-01-26

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Tuesday of the 3rd Week of the Year

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