Gospel: Lk 8:19-21
Then his mother and his relatives came to him; but they could not get to him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and wish to meet you.” Then Jesus answered, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
Upon hearing the last sentence of today’s gospel reading (“my mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it”), some people might think that Jesus is somehow distancing himself from Mary, his physical mother. But nothing could be further from the truth, and that is certainly not the intention of the evangelist Luke from whose gospel this statement is taken. Because the same Luke, at the very beginning of his gospel, has presented Mary as a model of availability to God’s word when, upon the annunciation by the angel Gabriel, she reacts by saying: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). In fact, we could say that, in a sense, Jesus is drawing our attention away from the physical maternity of Mary to her much more intimate kinship with him through her perfect obedience to God’s will. As the Church Fathers like to repeat: “Before conceiving Jesus in her womb, Mary conceived him in her heart.”
Words do not cost much and so do not mean much. One action is worth a thousand words.
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