January 23, 2018
Tuesday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
“Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you.”
But he said to them in reply,
“Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”
Reflection(Sem. Mark Ian V. Abu)
Jesus himself answers the question that He raises. Whoever does the will of the Father is His mother and brothers. He goes beyond traditional family relations. He transcends them to get to a spiritual level. The spiritual family that includes the Kingdom of God is not based on blood affinity but on obedience to the will of God. Belongingness to God’s family demands faith and action. Familial authority should be submissive to the will of God.
One of the longstanding issues regarding Jesus is whether He had siblings. But experts of the Scriptures would say that in the early times, the word “brother” can also mean ‘cousin’. It may appear that Jesus’ reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”, is a disrespect or rejection of His close kins. but the Lord did not mean that, it was a dramatic way of stressing a point, according to the experts, that spiritual relationship is more important than blood relationship. True kinship is not always just a matter of flesh and blood. Jesus goes on to say that spiritual relationship is achieved by doing the will of the Father.
But how do we know God’s will. We are taught in our catechism and faith that the Scripture – the Word of God – is a big help in doing so. Another way is through the Church, which teaches matters of faith and morals with the authority of God himself. Yet, the will of God is also manifested in our daily duties and responsibilities at home with our family, in the office with our co-workers, in the community with our neighbors and to all. The signs of the times that is happening in our world today is a great invitation to adhere and do God’s will – the problems that our Church and country are experiencing right now, our struggle to respect life from conception to birth, our cry for respecting human dignity and many others. Part of doing God’s will is also submitting ourselves to Him totally and remaining faithful to Him amidst many trials and difficulties such as deaths of loved ones, sickness, unjust sufferings and the many events beyond our control.
Knowing God’s will is quite easier than doing and being faithful to it up to the end. There is a saying that goes, “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.” Let us pray to God for the grace to be faithful and the courage to fulfill His will in our lives.