Gospel Reflection – Tuesday 3rd week in Ordinary Time (23 January) – We are family
Fr Paul Gooley reads today’s Gospel from Mark (3: 31-35) in which, Jesus asks, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers and sisters?’. In this Gospel, Fr Paul says we hear that the mother, brothers and sisters of Jesus appear. They will appear again in the scene of the rejection of Jesus at Nazareth. Does this appearance of brothers and sisters imply that Mary had other children rather than just Jesus? Quite apart from the Christian use of ‘brothers and sisters’ the word was already frequently used for close relations and companions who did not necessarily have any blood-relationship. Think of today’s world where one person can say ‘hey bro’ to another but they are not related. What might be difficult to understand is the clear line that Jesus makes between his mother brothers and sisters, and ‘those sitting around him’. It seems that Jesus is disregarding his family and attaching himself to those around him. Fr Paul says this may give us pause to ask was Jesus so unappreciative of his mother and family? For Jesus it is not family ties which matter, nor does it matter that people are bound together by ties of race. The family of Jesus consists of those who hear his word. This will be of enormous importance in the development of the concept of the Christian family. It is a family that is open to all people who hear the word of Jesus, gentiles as well as Jews. Fr Paul invites us to reflect on today’s Gospel lesson – it is God’s word that ties us together as a family.