Are you doing the will of God? MARK 3:20–35 Today’s gospel is divided into three parts: the attitude of Jesus’ relatives, the confrontation between Jesus and the scribes, and Jesus’ response.
We would recognise that the attitude of the relatives and that of the scribes is similar—it is authoritative. They want to be in charge.
The underlying statement of Jesus’ message, I think, is a call to vocation, and that vocation is to discipleship. This call is for all the baptised, a call that leads to mission which is rooted in being family of Jesus—a call to be Christ-like.
Jesus is the Word made Flesh, the same Jesus who in John 14:6 says “I am the way, the truth and the life” and who in another passage says “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10:45). In Luke’s gospel in the garden of Gethsemane, He exclaimed “Father take this cup away from me, yet! Not my will but yours be done.”
To be part of the family of Jesus is doing the will of God and we can only do that by following the way, acknowledging the truth of who He is and working towards being life givers.
The attitude of Jesus’ relatives and the scribes is not one we must adopt and Jesus was quite clear about this when he said “Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.”
I am certain that we hear persons in our parishes or wherever we are, lay claim that they are of a “certain stature”, Catholic Christian from birth, or in a position for a lengthy period of time, or because they are priests and religious. They may feel that they could take charge of Jesus.
I remember sometime in the mid-eighties when HIV/AIDS reared its ugly head, another Sister and myself, full of fervour and wanting to do the will of God (hopefully), realised that a young man working with us contracted this deadly disease. In those days, there was no cure.
We took it upon ourselves to make this journey with him and allow him to experience God’s healing love through us. During one of our many visits to the isolated hospital ward we were confronted by one of our Sisters, who at that time was a registered nurse. She was livid and made us feel like outcasts, and thought we were mad and evil to risk the lives of the other Sisters.
In our minds, as young Sisters, we were following in the steps of our Sisters who left France, risking their lives to do the will of the Father in caring for the lepers.
“Blood thicker than water” is what we say about family bonds, where one has roots and unbreakable ties. Jesus made it quite clear, when he gave us another perspective saying “who is my mother, my brother and sister?”. Immediately he responded “This is who they are, the ones who hear the word of God and keep it.”
According to Pope Francis “We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount.”
The Gospel Meditations for June are by Sr Angilla Corraspé OP of the Gran Couva/Tabaquite Parish.