Posted by: fvbcdm | July 25, 2012

Feast of Saint Sharbel Makhluf (24 July 2012)

In the gospel for today, the Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time, we find Our Lord teaching the crowd when someone from the fringe of the assembly comes to him with the message that his mother and “his brothers” have come, and wish to speak to him.  The term “brothers” was often used fairly loosely to mean any male relatives or even members of the group who had come to believe in one particular teacher and considered themselves his disciples.  Our Lord’s response to the message is typical of his outlook on things.  He rarely passes up an opportunity to turn any event into a teachable moment.  So what does he say or do?  I suppose that he thanks the messenger for the news, and goes to the back of the crowd to greet his mother and the men with her.  But before he does that, he looks out over the multitude of his listeners and says, “Who is my mother?  Who are my brothers?”  And then he answers his own rhetorical questions by saying, “Whoever does the will of my Father is brother and sister and mother to me.”  It is obvious that he is speaking figuratively, since no one can have more than one mother, and Our Lord is calling anyone who does God’s holy will his brother, sister, and even mother.  So he is saying in effect: I have many brothers, sisters, and mothers.  

What a beautiful complement he pays to all those who live in obedience to God!  We, who do our best to keep the commandments and to do what we know Our Lord wants us to do, he calls his brothers, sisters, and mother.  Does this indicate any lack of respect, affection, and love on the part of Jesus for his blessed Mother, as some who try to minimize the relationship between the two have claimed?  Certainly not!  Rather, it indicates the very great esteem in which Christ holds those who are obedient to God, and to him, who is God in human form.  


Today we reflect upon our relationship with Our Lady according to Our Lord’s words. Tomorrow we will have the feast of Saint James, one of his twelve apostles.  Then, we can reflect upon our relationship with him who was a disciple, of Christ, a friend, an apostle, one of the first bishops of the Church, and finally, a martyr. So, my dear friends, let us do the will of our heavenly Father the best we can so as to merit these marvelous words of praise from Our Lord and enter into a deeper relationship with him. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.


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