We Are Family With A Mission

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you.”
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
(Luke 8:19-21)

Scripture Study

8:19 His brothers: in Semitic usage, the terms “brother,” “sister” are applied not only to children of the same parents, but to nephews, nieces, cousins, half-brothers, and half-sisters; cf. Gn 14:16; 29:15; Lv 10:4. While one cannot suppose that the meaning of a Greek word should be sought in the first place from Semitic usage, the Septuagint often translates the Hebrew ’āh by the Greek word adelphos, “brother,” as in the cited passages, a fact that may argue for a similar breadth of meaning in some New Testament passages. The question of meaning here would not have arisen but for the faith of the church in Mary’s perpetual virginity.

8:21 The family of Jesus is not constituted by physical relationship with him but by obedience to the word of God. In this, Luke agrees with the Marcan parallel (Mk 3:31–35), although by omitting Mk 3:33 and especially Mk 3:20–21 Luke has softened the Marcan picture of Jesus’ natural family. Probably he did this because Mary has already been presented in Lk 1:38 as the obedient handmaid of the Lord who fulfills the requirement for belonging to the eschatological family of Jesus; cf. also Lk 11:27–28.

Scripture Reflection

Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus identifies his disciples as his family. I want to say something about our becoming disciples in his family. Once we make the decision to follow Jesus then every other claimant to supremacy must fall away. As I’ve argued many times before, every one of us has something or some set of values that we consider greatest.

Perhaps it is money, material things, power, or the esteem of others. Perhaps it is your family, your kids, your wife, your husband.

None of this is false, and none of these things are bad. But when you place any of them in the absolute center of gravity, things go awry. When you make any of them your ultimate or final good, your spiritual life goes haywire. When you attach yourself to any of them with an absolute tenacity, you will fall apart.

Only when we make Christ the cornerstone of our lives are we truly ready for mission. Keep in mind that every encounter with God in the Bible conduces to mission, to being sent to do the work of the Lord. If we try to do this work while we are stuck to any number of attachments, we will fail. Period.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.