16th Week in Ord. Time, Tuesday – 20th July 2021 — Gospel: Mt 12,46-50
Stretched Out in Relationships
Jesus makes clear that those whom he calls brother, sister, or mother are doing the will of the heavenly Father. The requirement to belong to the true family of Jesus is obedience. However, an earlier response of Jesus to those around him, “who is my mother? And who are my relatives?” does not put down his mother and his relations. Instead, Mary is honoured. She is the human person, who is in the closest relationship with Jesus, not because of being His mother, but because she was willing to do the will of God, and thus became Jesus’ mother. Her obedience led her to give birth to Jesus. Here, Matthew emphasizes that Jesus turns to the community of disciples, who will make up the true family. The action here is Jesus stretches out his hand, which has been used earlier to portray Jesus as compassionate (8,3) and also an act, which will be used later to show him as the great deliverer who comes to the aid of his disciples (14,31). Nevertheless, Jesus’ final statement confirms that disciples and being a member of his family is not merely a matter of verbal profession or even proclamation, but doing the will of God. This aspect makes anyone a brother or sister of Jesus. At the same time, the more one wishes to do God’s will, the more one can experience the spiritual relationship with the believers of the Lord as brothers and sisters.