A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you.”
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
Good News Reflection:
The message of the Gospel reading today is short and sweet. Oh how truly sweet it is! To hear Jesus say that we are as dear to him as his own Blessed Mother and his other close relatives — this is pure delight. However, he says we’re only that special to him if we’re doing the Word of God.
Jesus is explaining that it truly is possible to become part of his inner circle of nearest and dearest family and friends. This should motivate us! It makes us get off our prayer chairs and fly into action, changed by the Word of God, directed by the Word, empowered by the Word, making a difference in the world through the love that is the Word, the love who is the Word made flesh.
Why do you think so many prayers of Christ’s household (the Church) go unanswered? For example, at every Mass the priest prays on our behalf: “Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress…” So, how many of us suddenly stop worrying about our problems? This prayer is only answered when we learn what the Word says about trusting God and we do it — our actions are based on the truth of it.
Why is it that a parish adds the Prayer to Saint Michael (“defend us in battle”) to the end of daily Mass yet remains in division or under financial attack? It’s because we shouldn’t be waiting on angels to do all the work for us; to overcome the enemy while the angels defend us; we have to act upon what the Word says about community and unity or stewardship and generosity.
When we pray the Rosary, what value is there in ending each decade with the Fatima prayer, “Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy,” unless we are doing evangelizing activities that reach out to lost souls to help guide them to heaven? What good is it to recite the Divine Mercy prayer, “Have mercy on us and on the whole world,” if we are not doing acts of mercy to spread God’s love?
Why has there been a shortage of priests and religious vocations, even after many years of many prayers for an increase? Praying is not enough. We need to pay attention to what the Word says about our own calling to ministry — the laity as well as the ordained — and act upon it. By being joyful, passionate ministers who are motivated by a depth of heroic love that compassionately goes the extra mile, our attitude will inspire others to hear and respond to their own callings. Where clergy live their vocation as a pastoral ministry instead of a job and where laity are collaboratively unified with their clergy in doing the work of God’s kingdom, they inspire energy for new vocations, consecrated lives, and more lay ministers.
Prayer without action is meaningless. Action without knowing the Word of God is misdirected. Hearing the Word and then acting upon it is true kinship with Christ. May we all grow as close to Jesus as his own mother. Amen!
Thank You, Lord, because remaining in Your love, I discover a new family. Give me courage to fight for it and strength for not losing it. Amen.
© 2017 by Terry A. Modica