Tuesday of the 25th Week of the Year

Luke 8:19-21

Jesus and His Family

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

St. Teresa of Avila captures the lessons of today’s gospel: “Solo Dios basta,” (Only God matters). Jesus defines human kinship/relationship in reference to His Father: “Mother mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and keep it.”

Doing the will of His Father was the only thing that mattered for Jesus (and also for us). On entering the world, Jesus exclaims: “I come to do your will, O God!” as a twelve-year-old boy in the Temple He could tell Mary and Joseph: “Did you know that I must be about my Father’s business?” To His disciples asking Him to take lunch: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me.” At Gethsemane: “Not my will but yours be done.” Before He died He could proclaim to the whole world: “It is finished!”

For genuine followers of Jesus throughout the centuries, “only God matters.” Saints have left parental hones, disobeyed parents to follow the call of God, to serve Him in the Church, in God’s poor.

The reward, “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or mother or children or fields, for my sake, will reserve a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life,” (Mt 19:29). (Fr. Willy Villegas Bible Diary 2005)

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The persons closest to one’s heart are certainly parents, brothers and sisters. This is also true for Jesus. The persons closest to him are his parents and relatives, or “brothers and sisters” as the Bible would call them.

What is wonderful in the gospel of today is that Jesus expanded the number of persons closest to his heart, now to include “all those who hear the word of God and put them into practice.”

Desiring to be close to Jesus’ heart like members of His own family, let us ask ourselves if indeed we love God’s word. This love maybe expressed concretely in having a copy of the sacred scriptures, taking time to read God’s word, meditate, pray and live them out in our daily life. Blessed are they who hear the word of God and put them into practice for they will become members of God’s household. (Fr. Loloy Salvar, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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We Filipinos are known to be family-oriented. Family for us is primary. For occasions that bring family together – birthdays, funerals, weddings, anniversaries, reunions – it will take a major reason for a family member to be absent.

That is why this passage from Luke would give most Filipinos something to reflect on. We feel some level of harshness in Jesus’ words in this particular incident when his mother and close relatives (‘brother’ – the Hebrew word used) wanted to see Jesus, but were unable to do so because of the thick crowds that came to listen to Jesus.

Jesus’ words lead us to this question: what is it that binds me close to the members of my family or clan?

Jesus clearly tells us in words that are really blunt that the binding force that joins to Jesus, the kinship that cements us closer to our family is hearing the word of God and acting on it.

No amount of prestige or honor, wealth or education, culture or rearing, attached to our family name can bind us closer to each other than God’s word and its fulfilment in our life.

Parents should then take note of today’s gospel message in the rearing of children. You work very hard in providing food, shelter, health and education for your children. You even go to work in foreign shores to secure all these comforts. Do you exert the same efforts in feeding your children’s minds and hearts the nourishment and vitality that come from the word of God?

You are highly conscious and proud that your children take after you that they learn from your own life and work, your own skills and activities. And yet, do you also inspire them with your actions arising from the word of God coursing the veins of your life and profession?

You will have to work hard at this so that your children are not only chips from the old block that is you, but are strong living branches from the vine that is Jesus Christ alive in you. (Fr. Ted Gapuz, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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Reacting to the speech of Pope Benedict in Brazil, Pres. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela made this remark: “Christ did not come to the Americas with the conquistadores. Christ came much later. The conquistadores came with swords, guns and cannons. They conquered and plundered the land. They committed genocide against the native Indians….” In a sense, what Pres. Chavez said is historically true.

Today in a more subtle way, the plunder continues. The economic policies of the rich and powerful countries are “unfair” to the poor countries. It is sad to note that the powerful G-8 countries, like the conquistadores, are Christians.

In the local scene, rich and powerful Christian businessmen and landlords practice unfair labor policies towards their employees and tenants – contractualization, unjust wages and compensation and unfair sharing of the produce.

All these result to massive poverty and suffering to a multitude of peoples and nations. Today we are always confronted with massive poverty. We see it on TV, read it in the newspapers and see it with our own eyes in cities and streets up to a point that abject poverty does not move us anymore.

The last line of the first reading of today from the book of Proverbs (year 2) is a dire warning. ‘He who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard.” Massive poverty is an affront to God. God will see to it that justice be done. For God’s kingdom is kingdom of justice, peace and love.

The book of Proverbs says: “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” So many people are suffering because we fail to do what is right and just. To ease their conscience, the G-8 nations would sometimes donate billions of dollars to eradicate poverty but the economic policies that are the root cause of poverty however remain. So many of us would rather offer to churches and religious congregations than to do what is right and just to our employees and workers.

In the gospel today Jesus told the crowd, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and becoming the mothers, the brothers and sisters of Christ. (Fr. Herman Suico, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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When I left the Philippines for my foreign mission assignment in 1980, it took me sometime to assimilate the fact that I have to leave my family behind. What consoled me was the thought that after five years I would seeing my family again when I take my home vacation. As time went by, I met new acquaintances and friends. New-found families were born. They did not replace my family back in the Philippines, on the contrary, they became my extended family away from home.

Today’s gospel also talks about family, the family of Jesus.  His family consists of his mother and His brothers who hear the word of God and act on it. Looking at this biblical passage on the surface, one gets the impression that Jesus is denying any importance to His blood relatives, especially His relationship to His mother Mary. But going deeper into the text, one realizes that what Jesus does is to elevate the family by blood into a larger and stronger family by faith. Jesus calls His mother and brothers those who are open to God’s word and live it. The idea of family is given a new dimension. From now on, one can belong to the family of the Lord for her acceptance of the Word proclaimed by the angel Gabriel which occasioned the birth of the Son of God. Mary became then the first hearer and doer of the Word. The Church is seen as the family of Christ actually illustrates today’s gospel. The Church is family not in the sense of familiarity with the Lord but in the sense that all those who consider themselves part of it habitually hear and live the word of God.

We are blessed that God gave us a bond that binds us as one family, not by blood but by His words. Listening and living His words definitely make this family stay together. (Fr. Noel T. Rebancos, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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September 20, 2016 Tuesday

In today’s gospel Jesus encountered his mother and brothers, i.e. his immediate cousins and relatives. Jesus as a brilliant Rabbi took this occasion to teach an important lesson to his disciples and the crowd around him.

First, when he said: “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word and act on it”. Jesus did not repudiate his mother and brothers but acknowledged the importance of family and blood relationship. He made faithfulness to the Word as a new basis for this relationship, giving examples of his Mother and brothers as good listeners and actors of the word of God worthy of emulation. Mary did not only listen well to God but really did his will when she said: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) With humility and openness we can become receptive to God’s word. We become a mother, brother or sister to Jesus when we attentively listen to his word and act on it.

Second, when Jesus started his public ministry, he literally left Nazareth, his home. He detached himself from his mother, cousins and relatives to be completely focused on his Father’s business: to proclaim God’s Kingdom; bring back the lost sheep of the house of Israel; and do his Father’s will, i.e. to take the suffering servant’s role. The Gospel challenges us to be detached from whatever prevents us from fully following Jesus: money, power, prestige and pleasures. I myself nd detachment difficult. The temptation to seek recognition and appreciation, be popular and successful, be materialistic and powerful is always there. It is only by having the spirit and the heart of Christ that we can let go of all these and consequently be committed to doing his will. As Prov 21:3 says: “To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” (Fr. Jerome Cayetano, SVD USC, Cebu City Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/900-september-20-2016-tuesday

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FAMILY (Catholic Culture Dictionary)

 A group of persons who are related by marriage or blood and who typically include a father, mother, and children. A family is a natural society whose right to existence and support is provided by the divine law. According to the Second Vatican Council, “the family is the foundation of society” (The Church in the Modern World, II, 52). In addition to the natural family, the Church recognizes also the supernatural family of the diocese and of a religious community, whose members are to co-operate for the upbuilding of the Body of Christ (Decree on the Bishop’s Pastoral Office, 34; and Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 43). (Etym. Latin familia, a family, the members of a household; from famulus, a servant, attendant.)

The deepest relationship of life is not merely a blood relationship. It is the relationship of mind to mind and heart to heart. It is when people have common aims, common principles, common-interests, a common goal in life that they become really and truly related to each other.

Now let us remember the definition of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is a society upon earth where God’s will is as perfectly done as it is in heaven. It was Jesus’ supreme quality that He, of all people, alone succeeded in fully achieving that identity of His will and the will of God. Therefore, all those whose one aim in life is to make God’s will their will, are the ones who are truly related to Christ.

We speak of all men and women as being sons and daughters of God. In one very real and very precious sense that is true, because God loves both saint and sinner. But it is when a person puts his will, in line with God’s will, that a real relationship with God exists.

Everything that happens to us happens for a reason. Perhaps it is difficult for us to do God’s will for certain things, but when we do so we have entered into the family of God which includes all the saints on earth and in heaven.

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Today’s scripture readings are an interesting contrast. I read through them twice and had no idea what I was going to say. Then I heard an elderly woman singing and it came to me instantly. The Holy Spirit moves in mysterious ways. Today’s readings speak to me of prayer, comfort and risk. Comfort. In Ezra, the exiled Jews long to rebuild the house of God and worship and sacrifice. The psalmist rejoices going up to the house of the Lord.

Risk. In Luke, Jesus’ mother and brothers come to see him, but cannot reach him due to the crowds. Christ says, My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.

There is a wildly popular television show right now called American Idol. On the show, contestants stand before an audience and judges and sing. Some of the contestants have beautiful voices. Some of the contestants do not. They risk ridicule and rejection. My grandmother O’Reilly would have fallen into this latter category. As an adult looking back at my childhood, I realized my grandmother did not have a good singing voice. And yet she sang to me whenever we were together and I loved her voice. She sang old Irish songs and lullabies. My grandma has been gone for many years, but I still remember the songs. What a wonderful gift. I’m sure my grandmother knew she did not have a good singing voice. I wonder if she was self conscious about it. I wonder if she feared rejection and ridicule when she sang. Did she feel that risk when she sang? When I heard an elderly woman with a similar voice singing recently, it brought wonderful memories flooding back.

We Christians walk an interesting path. On one side is the comfort of the body of Christ. It feels good to be in the house of God. It’s a place where we can recharge our spiritual batteries. There is security in worshipping with others who love Christ. And yet Christ says we have to step out of the comfortable area. If we are going to obey Christ’s commands, we have to risk. Maybe we think we aren’t qualified to present the Good News of Christ. Maybe we don’t really feel we have a gift to give. Maybe we don’t think we can sing. Maybe we don’t even think we can pray. Have you ever had a time where you thought, God doesn’t want to hear about my petty little problems?

I have heard people offer up prayers that amazed me. A tiny, elderly lady from China visited my church recently. I could not understand her language, yet when she prayed, you knew you had heard a prayer. Sometimes (like today) when I pray, I feel foolish. I read God’s word and then I have to ask God to help me understand His word. I get a vision of God running his hands through his hair in frustration. I feel my prayer is feeble compared to others I have heard. And yet, Christ tells us that God longs to hear our voice.

My prayer today is for those of us who sometimes do not know how to talk to God. Who do not feel worthy to offer up a prayer to God. That we would know that God loves us and longs to hears our voice. God hears every prayer. Whether it is spoken with a beautiful, eloquent voice or a soft, humble plea. (Daniel Patrick O’Reilly)

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Thought Jesus’ words are very succinct: “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act upon it,” the implication of these words given to us much room for reflection. First of all, hearing the word of God implies that God speaks to us. This, of course, requires that we listen to His voice. Where does God speak to us and how? He speaks to us in our hearts, in our activities and in what happen to us, if there is too much God’s voice, however loudly he speaks to us, if there is too much noise or if we continuously busy ourselves with this and that. We need to put aside our activities from time to time in order to listen to what God is trying to say to us.

In the second part of the periscope, Jesus says that, after hearing God’s voice, the time comes for action. The order: prayer and quiet reflection, followed by action, is important. Yet one without the other leaves us only half-developed. We listen and pray; then we act. This combination, carried out faithfully on a daily basis, will enable us to become true brothers and sisters of Christ. (John Seland, SVD, Reflections on the Daily Gospels, p. 155)

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The gospel episode about Jesus’ mother and brothers looking for him – in the course of my preaching ministry – has always been an embarrassing situation! First, I have to constantly explain what the word “brothers” mean: that this does not mean that Jesus had other siblings, and that this does not conflict our Catholic faith that Mary is Ever-Virgin. According to the etymology of the word used in the original biblical languages, the word “brothers” translate a word that could mean cousins and close relatives. Second, I have to explain that Jesus does not have the bad character of setting aside his family. His preference to stay with the crowd underlines, rather, a theological lesson: Jesus values relationship in faith more than relationship according to flesh and blood.

The second point is, however, really a problem for me. I do not seem satisfied with the “theologizing”! if Jesus were truly human, he should have known that the mother is a mother, and that there are always emotions, hurts when you set mothers aside! What would modern-day mothers feel if in the process of trying to reach their son, they are told: “Sorry, Mom, but your son is unavailable!” I think no amount of spirituality would make one avoid being “emotionally hurt” with such an incident.

I suggest that beyond the theological point, our gospel episode also has a human/practical point: one secret why Jesus accomplished much in a three-year tension-filled ministry is that he had a very supportive and understanding family. They may not have really comprehended what Jesus was all about. Mary herself asked during the event of the losing and finding of Jesus at the Temple: “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” Nonetheless, they were supportive and superbly understanding of Jesus.

Even today, behind every effrective priest or minister, there is a supportive family (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP, New Every Morning New Everyday p.284).

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TUESDAY OF THE 25TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – LUKAS 8:19-21. Kinsa man ang mga tawo nga gitawag og “nominal Christians” o “Kristiyanos sa ngalan lamang”? Kasagaran, isipon nato nga “nominal Christians” ang mga tawo nga nabunyagan apan dili mosimba, o kaha mihunong na sa pagsulod sa Simbahan. Apan wala kaayo nato masabti nga bisan ang mga tawo nga kanunay’ng magsimba o mag-ampo pwede gihapong tawgon nga “Kristiyanos sa ngalan lamang” kon sila wala magpuyo sa mga maayong hiyas nga gitudlo ni Kristo. Diha sa ebanghelyo si Hesus miingon: “Ang akong inahan ug mga igsuon mao kadtong mamati sa Pulong sa Dios ug magtuman niini.” Sa ato pa, diha lamang sa pagbuhat sa kabubut-on sa Dios kita mahimong sakop sa pamilya ni Hesus ug mahimong tawgon nga tinuod nga mga Kristiyanos. Posted by Abet Uy

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

TUESDAY OF THE 25TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 8:19-21. KINSA MAN ANG MGA TAWO NGA GITAWAG OG “NOMINAL CHRISTIANS” O “KRISTIYANOS SA NGALAN LAMANG”? Kasagaran, isipon nato nga “nominal Christians” ang mga tawo nga nabunyagan apan dili mosimba, o kaha nihunong na sa pagsulod sa Simbahan. Wala nato masabti nga bisan ang mga tawo nga kanunay’ng magsimba o mag-ampo pwede gihapong tawgon nga “Kristiyanos sa ngalan lamang” kon sila wala magpuyo sa mga hiyas nga gitudlo ni Kristo. Si Hesus miingon: “Ang akong inahan ug mga igsuon mao kadtong mamati sa Pulong sa Dios ug magtuman niini.” Sa ato pa, diha lamang sa pagbuhat sa kabubut-on sa Dios kita mahimong sakop sa pamilya ni Hesus ug mahimong tinuod nga mga Kristiyanos. Adunay nag-ingon, “The devil doesn’t care if you go to church or read the bible, as long as you don’t apply it to your life.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/09/tuesday-of-25th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Reflection for Tuesday September 23, Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest; Luke 8:19-21 Reflection: Who would not want to become a relative of Jesus? Of course we all want to become His relatives. But Jesus has one important requirement for all of us so that we could become His relatives: Hear His word/s and act on it (Luke 8:21).

Do we hear the word of God and act upon it? For example the commandment of Jesus to love our enemies and to do good to those who hurt us (Matthew 5:44). Do we love our enemies and do good to them?  Or we immediately follow our natural instinct not to love those who don’t love us and hurt those who hurt us.

But what would happen if we follow our selfish human instinct? There would be more hatred and hurt, more walls than bridges. Mahatma Gandhi once said: An Eye for an eye would only make the whole world blind.

It’s not easy to become a relative of Jesus if we put so much value to ourselves. If we look at ourselves so highly and we immediately despise those who’ve hurt and disrespected us. But Jesus himself has forgiven those who’ve hurt, persecuted and killed Him.

Though it’s difficult to become a relative of Jesus for it requires humility and forgetting of ourselves. Nevertheless we must aspire to become a relative of Jesus and not aspire to become a lover of our egos and high sense of ourselves – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/09/reflection-for-tuesday-september-23.html

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Reflection for September 22, Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 8:19-21

Reflection: How could we become relatives of Jesus? We have to hear and live His words, it’s not enough to hear only we have to act and live it as well. Many of us forget that we effectively preach the words of Jesus by the way we live and we put more flesh to our faith living it.

In a family setting, children learn about their faith when their parents teach them about it. They further learn more when what are taught them is lived by their parents. Thus the family becomes stronger and united and is able to face whatever trials that it may encounter.

What if parents are simply content with teaching without living their faith? There would be failure of effective transmission of the faith. And the children will not fully imbibe what was taught them for the simple reason that their parents did not walk their talk.

In the same breath; we become effective teachers of the faith when we practice what we preach. We gain entrance to the family of God for the same reason as well. Let us therefore not be content by simply hearing the words of Jesus let us live also no matter how tempting the offer of the devil not to live it. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/09/reflection-for-september-22-tuesday-of.html

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SEARCH MY HEART: A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. – Proverbs 21:2

I’m one of those people who want to be right all the time. But the truth is, the more I strive to be right, the more God makes me realize that my perceived rightness may not conform to His.

Like the time I decided to go in a different direction with my career when I shifted from publishing to sales. For four years, I labored to meet my targets, to make the company’s advocacy my own, and to gain financial literacy. There were months when I did well but also months when I had no sale at all. Then came a time when I asked myself, “What am I doing here?”

I brought my dilemma to the Lord but He was silent. Then one day in May 2012, I sensed the Lord tell me, “Focus on your strengths. Use the gifts I gave you to serve Me.” Soon after, I resigned and I felt at peace. I have since focused on my work as a writer and editor and He has affirmed me to stay in this path in many ways: a third Catholic Mass Media Award for Best Youth Magazine for FiSH Magazine, continued work for a vocations magazine, and other writing/editing projects along the way.

I am truly grateful to God, who searches my heart. He reveals to me that what I truly desire is what He desires for me. Dina Pecaña (dpecana@yahoo.com)

Reflection: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns.” (Psalm 139:23)

Lord, grant me the grace to follow the desires You have placed in my heart that I may obey Your will for my life.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-09-23

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DOERS OF THE WORD: In 2011, I had the privilege of attending the beatification of Blessed John Paul II in Rome. As part of our pilgrimage, we went to Pietrelcina, the place of St. Padre Pio. As we passed by his place of rest, I noticed that many felt the awesome sense that they were his spiritual sons and daughters. Many devote themselves to his fatherly care. Padre Pio has left us a legacy of adoption as his spiritual sons and daughters. Today, Jesus is saying that His family members are the ones who hear the Word of God and practice it.

What a privilege it is to be named a brother, sister, mother or father of Jesus. According to St. Luke, Mary is the first disciple because she was the first to hear the Word of God and submit to it in faith and action. This is the trademark of the disciple of Jesus — putting the Word of God in practice. St. James writes that we are likened to someone who forgets what he looks like in a mirror if we don’t practice the Word of God. He says we are to be doers of the Word, not just hearers.

The author of the Letter to the Hebrews explains that the Word of God is living and active and has power to cut through our hearts. Jeremiah himself felt compelled by the Word of the Lord. It was like a fire burning in his bones. Remember the two men on the way to Emmaus and how their hearts burned on fire as they listened to Jesus?

The same was true of the saint we honor today — Padre Pio of Pietrelcina. He was a man of the Word, so he was able to work many miracles, and many were drawn into the life of Jesus through his ministry of the Word and the sacraments.

Jesus reminds us that those who keep His commandments will be loved by the Father and they will make a home in that person. Let our hearts be ablaze with the Word of God that purifies, strengthens and guides all our ways. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL

REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you a doer of the Word of God or just a hearer of It?

Guide me, Lord, in the way of Your commands. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-09-23

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FAMILIES, BE WHO YOU ARE! In His teaching ministry, Jesus shocked not a few people by the new way He presented things. He told the people, who cannot even mention the name of God out of pious reverence, to address God by the most intimate of names, “Abba”, i.e., “Father” or better, “Daddy.” He changed the definition of things.

In the Gospel today, Jesus changed the definition of family. When told that His mother and brothers were outside waiting for Him, He responded by saying that “those who hear God’s Word and put it into practice” are His mothers and brothers. In essence, Jesus relocated the definition of family from shared consanguinity to shared practice and fidelity to the Word of God. This is a centripetal redefinition. The movement is inward: consistent, complementary and compatible with the Word of God. Furthermore, Jesus’ redefinition is not a destruction of its usual meaning but a deepening of it.

Today, the culture is also doing a redefinition of the family, but in a way that is contrary to the Word of God. Family is no longer the union of one male and one female, united and committed to one another in a covenant of marriage that is forever. This definition of family is very much rooted in Scripture and is a natural demand of the natural moral law.

Family today is simply an adult-centered association and whatever they want it to be, whoever and how many those adults are. The change is artificial, whimsical and imposed. The movement is centrifugal, i.e., it moves farther and farther away from the Word of God.

In his address at the opening of a three-day conference on traditional marriage hosted at the Vatican, Pope Francis reiterated that the family is “an anthropological fact… that cannot be qualified based on ideological notions or concepts important only at one time in history,” and founded on the natural and biblical “complementarity between man and woman in marriage.”

Let us keep marriage and family rooted in the Word of God! Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: Is the Word of God an essential part of your family life?

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Holy Family of Nazareth, keep every family under the beacon of Your protection. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-09-20

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September 22, 2015

Tuesday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time

Ezr 6:7-8, 12B, 14-20, Lk 8:19-21

Titles and positions are call to action

Today’s first reading is a passage from the Book of Ezra. There is a big surprise hidden in this reading. It enumerates the names of three Persian kings Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes. It is as per their decrees that the Temple of Jerusalem was rebuilt. It is with extreme respect that their names are mentioned in the scripture. During those days the people of Israel were in exile and were the slaves to the Persians. The Persian king Cyrus is mentioned by Yahweh as his son and his chief agent who executes his formative program regarding the people of Israel. The wicked characters in this drama are the kings, false prophets and bad priests of Israel. Due to the evil deeds of these leaders of Israel, the people of Israel lost their land and were conquered by the Persian army. This is a bitter lesson as well as a staunch warning to all God’s people that vocation is a mission or a call to action rather than recognition or an award given to somebody for their merits. If and when the appointed persons fail to perform their duties, God makes use of other options to execute his plan.

This is exactly what Jesus is reminding his disciples through today’s Gospel. When he was told that his mother and his brother were waiting for him outside, he made it crystal clear that nobody has any special entitlement before God. Titles and positions are call to action – to carry out certain responsibilities. A father should live like a father carrying out the responsibilities of a father. So should a mother, brother, sister, neighbor, friend, leader, priest, son, daughter or whatever. Unfortunately we often come across people holding weird notions of entitlement. They make demands and claims based on their titles and positions without carrying out the obligations associated with those titles. If a father behaves like a neighbor, he has no right to demand filial devotion and respect from his children. Give everybody his or her due. Jesus was very firm in his stance, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” Jesus was very fortunate to have a mother like Mary, who always said fiat to the divine invitation for participation. She proved herself a worthy mother of Jesus. Now it our turn to prove our worth to hold the titles we have. A Christian should prove through his life that he/she is a Christian. A Catholic should be Catholic in his/her vision and mission. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-09-22

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September 25, 2012

St. Albert of Jerusalem
Tuesday of the 25th Week
GREEN

Prv 21:1-6, 10-13
Ps 119
Lk 8:19-21

Jesus and His Family

19[Jesus’] mother and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. 20He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” 21He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

Reflection:

Brothers. Hebrew and Aramaic have no specific word for cousins. The word brothers in Aramaic tradition would mean relatives of Jesus. And in the English equivalent brothers are really the cousins of Jesus. In Greek, the language of the New Testament, the word for cousin is known and translated for the word brother.

In the Gospel, Jesus is not rejecting his natural family, his mother and his relatives. He is not impolite and he is not denying them. Jesus is not limiting his “eschatological family” to mere blood relationship; he is extending it so everyone can be included. Our relationship with Jesus is now based on our obedience and commitment to his word and doing God’s will. If we listen to God’s word and make God’s will our own (which, in Luke, Jesus’ mother Mary does in an eminent way), then we are brothers and sisters to Jesus and to one another. The kingdom of God is built up by this family relationship with Jesus and our brethren.

If we are really brothers and sisters “in Christ,” it is disconcerting to observe that we, Catholics, do not seem to feel our Christian bond or affinity with Sunday Mass-goers who are usually strangers or, at least, acquaintances. During Mass, our greetings of peace are clumsy, lame, distant, aloof, or even selective, restricted only to our respective natural family members.

Jesus calls the community of believers his “family.” How do you help promote unity and mutual support in the Christian communities to which you belong?

ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/1979-september-25-2012

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September 20, 2016

REFLECTION: Upon hearing the last sentence of today’s gospel reading (“my mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it”), some people might think that Jesus is somehow distancing himself from Mary, his physical mother. But nothing could be further from the truth, and that is certainly not the intention of the evangelist Luke from whose gospel this statement is taken. Because the same Luke, at the very beginning of his gospel, has presented Mary as a model of availability to God’s word when, upon the annunciation by the angel Gabriel, she reacts by saying: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). In fact, we could say that, in a sense, Jesus is drawing our attention away from the physical maternity of Mary to her much more intimate kinship with him through her perfect obedience to God’s will. As the Church Fathers like to repeat: “Before conceiving Jesus in her womb, Mary conceived him in her heart.”

Words do not cost much and so do not mean much. One action is worth a thousand words.

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3649-september-20-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Tuesday of the 25th Week of the Year

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