Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

(Ezra 6:7-8.12b.14-20; Luke 8:19-21)

Today’s gospel might be read as a corrective of an impression given in the parallel passage of Mark’s gospel.  The latter gospel has Jesus asking, “’…who are my mother and brothers?’” The question makes one think that Jesus may be denying Mary’s role in his life.  By omitting the question, Luke implies something very different of Mary’s relationship to Jesus.

In both Mark and Luke Jesus proclaims that are those who do the will of God comprise his family.  Luke is somewhat more expressive.  He quotes Jesus as saying his mother and brother “are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”  At the beginning of Luke’s gospel, Mary is the first to do just that.  She willingly accepts the angel’s message that she is to be the mother of the Savior.  Likewise, she makes haste to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth when the angel mentions the latter’s miraculous pregnancy. 

But the thrust of today’s passage is not so much Mary’s being named a disciple of Jesus as those sitting around him being designated his brothers and sisters.  We may include ourselves in that hppy family.  But first we must, like Mary, listen to the word of God with our hearts and act on it with our lives.