“Being members of the Family of God by being ready to do the Will of the Father!”
(Based on Mic 7:14-15, 18-20 and Mt 12:46-50 – Tuesday of the 16th Week in Ordinary Time)
A lady once remarked to her spiritual guide, “I am very afraid to pray, ‘Thy Will be done'”
“And why is that so?” asked the guide.
“I am afraid…”continued the lady, “… that God will bring some calamity to my only child or send me a heavy trial in life”
The spiritual guide, having patiently listened to her, replied:
“Suppose if your beloved child comes to you and says, ‘Mummy, here after, I want to always do whatever you say and live as you will…’
Would you say to yourself…
‘Ah! Here is my chance!
I will make my child to do all the harsh things.
I will make use of his willingness to obey me, by cutting off all his pleasures
I will make sure he has a tough time because anyway he will do whatever I say”
“Oh no!” answered back the mother, “I will give him the best possible things that I can. I will make sure that he is protected from every danger.
I will do anything to ensure him true happiness!”
“And do you think…” continued the spiritual guide, “Do you think that God is less loving than you?”
The will of every human parent is to ensure the best for their children, isn’t it?
How much more loving and caring is the Will of the Father!
“God’s Will” is best understood in the set-up of a family…
Even in a human family…
… Every member wishes that the other is taken care
… Every member seeks for the good of the other
How much more is the love and concern in the Family of God…
… to all those who seek to do the Will of the Father?!
Jesus, in today’s Gospel invites each of us to be part of the Family of God…
… by doing the Will of the Father.
Our Blessed Lord says, “For whoever does the Will of My Heavenly Father, is My brother and sister and mother” (Mt 12: 50)
The passage begins with the family of Jesus waiting to see Him…
“While Jesus was still speaking, behold, His Mother and His brothers stood outside, asking to speak to Him” (Mt 12: 46)
This is a passage that is often used to attack the position of the Catholic Church on Mary.
Many misinterpret this passage to mean that Mary was out of the Family of God
Many wrongly consider this passage to mean that Mary had other sons, referred to as ‘brothers’
We take a short apologetic approach to our Bible passage today….
- Who are the brothers mentioned here?
There are about ten instances in the New Testament where “brothers” and “sisters” of the Lord are mentioned
The term used for ‘brother’ in Greek is “adelphos”
“Adelphos” can mean…
… a biological brother
… an extended relative
… or even a spiritual brother
The languages – Hebrew and Aramaic (the language spoken by Jesus) – did not have a special word for “cousin”
The writers of the New Testament used the Aramaic equivalent of “brothers” to mean both cousins and sons of the same father—plus other relatives and even non-relatives.
When the Old Testament was translated into Greek and the New Testament written in Greek, the word “Adelphos” was used to capture all of these meanings.
Further, the Gospels are clear that Mary was a virgin at the time she conceived Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Mt 1:18-25, Lk 1:26-38).
After the birth of Jesus, no mention is made of Mary and Joseph ever having other children.
Never does the Gospels refer to the “sons of Mary” or “a son of Mary,” but only “The Son of Mary.”
We also see that at the Crucifixion, Jesus entrusts His Blessed Mother to John, who was not his blood-brother (Jn 19: 25-27)
According to Jewish law, the oldest son had the responsibility of caring for the widowed mother, and that responsibility would pass to the next oldest if anything happened to the first-born son
Since Jesus, “the first-born”, had no “blood brother,” He entrusted His Mother to the care of St John, His Beloved Disciple.
Thus, the Catechism of the Catholic Church clarifies “the brothers of Jesus”….
“The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary.
In fact James and Joseph, “brothers of Jesus”, are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls “the other Mary”.
They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.” (CCC #500)
- Was Mary only the ‘biological’ Mother of Jesus?
Jesus said, “Whoever does the Will of My Father in Heaven, is my…. Mother!” (Mt 12: 50)
Did Mary fulfil this call of Jesus?
When we scan through the pages of the New Testament, we find, that perhaps no other person fulfilled the Will of the Father as perfectly as Mary
Mary was Blessed indeed…
Not just because she gave a physical birth to Jesus…
… but also because She listened and lived the Will of the Father!
She is blessed…
… because She listened to God’s Word and accepted it wholeheartedly.
… because She chose to put Her faith in God, though the path ahead was dim
… because She was obedient to God’s Will, though She did not understand many things”
As St. Irenaeus says:
“Being obedient, She became the cause of salvation for Herself and for the whole human race.”
The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience
What Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by Her faith”
Mother Mary is the first Evangelizer and the first Disciple of Her own Son and Lord, Jesus the Christ!
Mother Mary is thus, not just the biological Mother of Jesus…
… by doing the Will of the Father perfectly, She is also His Spiritual Mother!
As St Maximilian Kolbe says, “If anyone does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for his Mother, he will not have Christ for his Brother!”
Yes, doing the Will of the Father…
… is the DNA that joins all the members of the Family of God
… is the sole and mandatory criteria to be part of the Family of God
We may have our fears in doing His Will….
But let us realize, that the Will of Father is wrapped with much love and affection…
… there is a tenderness in His Will, that ensures each of us, His children are protected!
… there is a warmth in His Will, that makes sure that we, His children are always given the best!
Prophet Micah reminds us of the Merciful Love of the Lord…
… which casts all ours sins, even into the depths of the sea: “He will again have compassion upon us, he will tread our iniquities under foot. Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Mic 7:19)
Jesus is our Supreme Model and Leader in listening and living the Will of the Father
Mother Mary is our Beloved Mother and Perfect Disciple, Who followed Her Son wholly, in obedience to the Will of the Father!
Many saints and holy people also show us, by their sanctified lives that it is worth, meaningful and salvific to do the Will of the Father!
All of them beckon us:
“Come be part of the Family of God…
Listen always to what God wants of you in your life
Ask Him, at all times, what you should be doing in life
Put your trust in His Power and Providence, when you do His Will!”
Are we willing to be members of this Family of God?
… Then we need to be ready to do the Will of the Father!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “God’s Will is that we should be perfect, uniting ourselves to Him…