Jesus was inside a house in Capharnaum, speaking to a large crowd that had gathered. We can be sure that they were enjoying listening to him, since he was a compelling speaker with a very attractive personality. He attracted hundreds and even thousands of people when he preached in Galilee.
Suddenly there is some activity at the door, and someone, maybe the owner of the house, comes to report that Our Lord’s mother and relatives have arrived, probably from Nazareth, and would like to talk to him. How would you feel at that point if you were one of his hearers? Disappointed, because you suppose that he will stop talking to the group now and go off with his kinfolk. And probably somewhat second-rate, since you suppose he prefers to be with his family and relatives than with you and the others in the crowd who are not related to him by blood. But wait! Jesus’s reaction to this unexpected interruption is not at all what you might expect. What does he say? “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And Saint Mark goes on to tell us, “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.’”
Terrific! By saying that, he puts the whole scene into his own perspective. The holy will of God is Christ’s number one priority. Who fulfills that is close to him; who rejects that is alienated from him. Blood relationship is not important. Our Lady is the greatest of the saints because by God’s grace, she is the most obedient: “Be it done to me according to your word.”
And so with us; each of us has his/her own priorities: to accomplish the goals of our career; to be a good husband or wife; to support our family in decency and comfort; to be elected to some office; to catch the biggest speckled trout in the lake, or whatever it happens to be. But beyond all that, let us always remember that what Our Lord wants of us is to obey the will of his Father and ours: that is the basic point of all human life. We who are men and women of faith must always remember that and do our best to implement it in our lives. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.