“Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”

Do you know someone who has that certain gift of telling you what the truth of the matter is whether you want to know it or not?  You find that rather refreshing when they’re using that gift on everyone but yourself; it can be rather uncomfortable when you are the one being admonished by the truth being directed at you.  We all know someone like that, right?  We do and His name is Jesus Christ.

When I reflect on the message of today’s Gospel, I think about the pride the apostle’s had as they arrived at the place where Jesus was speaking and as the person came up to them, how the apostles announced to that unnamed person – “Let Jesus know that we have arrived.”  I’m quite sure that they thought Jesus would stop his teaching and make a big deal that they had arrived – His chosen band of men.  I’m sure they fully expected an announcement from Jesus – “Look, everyone, these are the 12 I have chosen!  Let’s all give them a round of applause!”  What they got instead was a message that they were no greater than the group of people whom Jesus was teaching.  And that message was this – God must be the center of all our attention.  No matter where, no matter when, no matter who else is asking for it.  If we are not focused on God, if all we do is not for His greater glory, then what we do is in vain.

I found Bishop Barren’s reflection rather inspirational this morning so I will share it with you here…

Friends, in today’s Gospel someone tells Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.” Jesus stretches his hand toward his disciples and says, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Family is wonderful. There is nothing in the world wrong with fostering the flourishing of your family. But over and again, the Bible places the goods of the world into question—even something as good as family relationships.

Why? Because family isn’t God. It is not that which you should serve with your whole heart; it doesn’t belong in the center of your life.

Is family the point around which most of your energies revolve? Is it your primary focus as you make your way through the day? Are there times when you feel your family obligations competing with the will of God?

Then remember Jesus’ words: “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? . . . Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father.”

Another thought that came to mind reading this Gospel is that Mary is mentioned along with the apostles here.  She may have been with them, but my faith tells me that Mary was without sin, so although she was with the “brothers”, she had no intention of announcing her presence or interrupting her son’s teaching.  Pride is sinful and Mary was without sin.

So again Jesus confronts me with the following question.  Do I love my family more than I love my God?  Would I do anything to keep peace in the family that I love at the risk of turning away from the will of God?  I write four mantra’s at the end of each post and they are the same four mantra’s that I pray I’m able to do each day.  Today’s readings, especially the Gospel, call on me to reflect upon, pray upon and live those mantra’s without fail.

Do something great for our Lord today – let God’s will be done; be not afraid; just have faith; trust in Jesus; let Christ increase in your life.  Live these four mantra’s everyday and pray that everyone you encounter see’ s you living them and desires to live them to.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

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