The Gospel according to Matthew (12:46-50)
While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you.”
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
“Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
In today’s Gospel, it seems that Jesus is discounting the importance of His earthly family (His Mother, and His “brothers”). What we miss if we look at it that way is that Jesus is the only one ever to be fully human and fully divine. When He was speaking the words we have today, He was actually talking about His divine family, not His earthly one.
What it comes down to is being an “insider”, not an “outsider” of Jesus’ divine family. He even says how we may become one of those “insiders” (by “doing the will” of His heavenly Father). What is the importance of being an “insider”? Here’s a practical example: in my own working life, I’ve benefited in getting through the hiring process for jobs at companies easier when I knew people who worked there – who were “on the inside”. Those “insiders” were able to tell me more about the culture, and the expectations of the hiring managers, and how to show that I was the person they were looking for.
Each of us as a follower of Jesus are called to be on the “inside”. When we shine the light of Jesus’ love in our world, that light calls to others, so that they, too, can be “on the inside”. We are never to lord it over anyone that we are somehow better or more deserving, though. The *only* reason we are on the inside is a gift from our loving Lord.
One other observation – let’s not make the mistake of thinking that Jesus was somehow saying that His Mother, Mary, was on the “outside”. She, too, has a dual role in our salvation story – she was the earthly mother of Jesus, but she was also the Mother of the Lord (as Elizabeth called her). If we think that anyone was more on the “inside” than anyone else, that would be the Blessed Virgin Mary. And, if we want to get close to Jesus, what better way than to get closer to His Mother?
Action for the Day:
Say a prayer of thanksgiving that you are called to be on the “inside” of Jesus’ divine family, and ask His Mother to intercede that you may shine that light to those you meet today.
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