Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today's Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50
Today’s Gospel is often misunderstood, even to the point of being controversial. There’s so much going on this this scene, and so much more behind the scenes so to speak. While teaching, Jesus is interrupted with the news that His mother and brothers are outside and want to speak with Him. Those who disbelieve Mary’s perpetual virginity use this passage as “proof” that Jesus had siblings and therefore His mother couldn’t have retained her virginity. However, in that time and place the word “brothers” applied to relatives in general not actual siblings.
The other part of this Gospel that stirs things up is Jesus’s remark that anyone who does the will of His Father is His brother, sister, and mother. Some say that Jesus is disrespecting, perhaps even disowning His mother by saying this. They say it suggests that Mary wasn’t important to Jesus at all and we merely the instrument for his humanity. That too, is a misconception. Others say it could be that Jesus is drawing attention to the discipleship of His mother since Mary was and is the first and most perfect disciple of Christ. That could be, but that’s not all there is to it.
When I consider this passage, I see the situation in a different light. Scripture and the revelations of the saints and mystics tell us that Jesus loved His mother most dearly. Theirs was and is a relationship of tenderness and faithfulness. To me it seems that Jesus isn’t distancing or disowning his mother but instead is assuring us that, if we follow Him as His Blessed Mother did, we will be among His cherished ones as well.
What does this passage mean to me? What message is in it for me?
My Lord, I want to follow You as Your Mother Mary followed You. Sometimes I struggle to follow you at all much less follow you perfectly. Have mercy on me and grant me the grace to grow in my discipleship. Amen.
Copyright 2020 Marge Steinhage Fenelon
About the Author
Marge Steinhage Fenelon is a wife, mother, award-winning author and journalist, blogger, and popular speaker. She appears weekly on Relevant Radio's "Morning Air Show" and other Catholic radio shows. She blogs regularly for National Catholic Register and at MargeFenelon.com. She's author of the best-selling "Our Lady, Undoer of Knots: A Living Novena (Ave Maria Press, 2016) and many other books on Marian devotion and Catholic spirituality.