Commentary – Tuesday of the 16th week in ordinary time

Readings for today.

Have you ever considered yourself a brother or sister of Jesus?

Do you consider yourself as part of His family?

Hopefully your answer is an affirmative YES. However, if you have never considered yourself as part of Jesus’ family, He is inviting you today to consider the invitation. “Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Some have tried to interpret this Gospel story in different ways:

1) They say that Jesus is putting down His mother Mary. This is not the case at all. Jesus is rather affirming all of us who try to do His will. And the Scriptures are clear about Mary’s role – “Blessed are you among women…” (Luke 1:42) And Jesus followed the 4th Commandment of honoring His father and mother.

2) Others say that this Scripture means that Jesus had biological siblings and therefore Mary is not ever-virgin. I think the key Scripture that points to Jesus not having siblings is John 19:27 – “John, behold your mother.” Jesus was watching out for His mother from the cross because in that society women only had social standing through the men in their families. Joseph had already died and Mary’s only son, Jesus, was about to die. If Jesus had brothers, Mary simply would have been entrusted to one of them. However, Jesus entrusted His mother to John, the beloved disciple.

The significance of this Scripture is that the Lord invites us all to be a part of His family – intimate members of His household. We become His sons and daughters through our baptism. But we must also do the will of God the Father to maintain that relationship. What must we do to do the will of the Father?

We must pray to know the will of the Father.

We must put our faith into action.

We must have the courage to follow wherever the Lord calls us.

Is there anything holding you back?

Are you spending quality time in prayerful conversation with the Lord every day in order to know His will?

Are you putting your faith into action?

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke

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