In His love and kindness, God gives man the free will to operate. With this free will, man chooses either to do good or bad. Though God created man, God does not force him to decide what he wants to do.
So, due to this freedom, man chooses to do the will of God or not. He freely chooses to substitute the will of God with his own will or the will of another person. The people who then freely choose to do the will of God over their own or that of another person are the people Jesus sees as His brother and mother.
1 . Before I proceed, it is good to repeat that Virgin Mary did not give birth to any other person except Jesus. Those mentioned here are His cousins. I have written on this several times.
So, today, the brothers and Mother of Jesus want to see Him, and someone informs Jesus of this. Hence, Jesus points to the people who are listening to Him as His mother and brother.
2 . Here, One wonders if Jesus is showing a disdainful attitude to His mother and brothers. This is not true. Jesus so much loves His mother. What Jesus wants to teach us here is that our love to do the will of God supersedes the ties we have for our family members. In Luke 14:26, Jesus says “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple”.
So, Jesus uses this avenue to teach the people the importance of doing the will of God.
Doing the will of God creates a close tie between us and Jesus and this close tie should be what we have to seek with all our hearts. This close tie should come first than any blood relationship.
3 . Do you know that in this gospel, Jesus invariably praises His mother Mary more. Because Virgin Mary is ever more willing to abide by God’s will. She is the first person in the New Testament that accepts the will of God.
Her response to Angel Gabriel after the annunciation is worthy of emulation. She says “I am the handmaid of the Lord, may it be to me as according to your word (Luke 1:38). She did not doubt the message. Her yes to the message of the Angel Gabriel ushers us into the salvation history. So, when you come to doing the will of God, she is the first.
Our Deepest Need.
To understand the gist here, we have to note that nothing is thicker than a blood relationship. We are certain of the bond that exists among mother and son, brothers and sisters etc.
Hence, what Jesus says, in essence, is that our deepest need is to be close to God and keeping to His word. We are not in this world to do our will or what others want but what God wants.
Although today, the story is the other way round. Today, we work hard to make our parents proud. We hustle to make our friends feel our vibe. Sometimes, we struggle to win the approval of our beloved ones.
Hence, we work hard, keep good grades to make our parents happy. We can go the extra mile to make those we love happy. We can even empty our pockets and sacrifice whatever we have to keep the people we love. Many times, we spend sleepless nights to make them love us the more. We are solely occupied with this sole intention to impress.
Hence, at the same time, we fail to sacrifice just one minute in communication with God. We become weak in prayer and even go the extra mile to disobey and sin against our Creator. We are becoming more interested in impressing the world more than we impress God.
Therefore, the summary of today’s reflection is that God should be the first over everything. The decisions and choices we make should not relegate God to the background. God is the first over our own will, over what the other person is forcing us to do. God First over our challenges.
When Jesus says in Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, cannot be My disciple”. He is saying we must be willing to put Him first in our lives before any other choices that we make.
Relationship with Jesus.
Finally, Jesus is not saying that we hate our family. He uses the family setting to reveal to us God’s love for anyone who does His will.
He says, “Whoever does the will of my Father is for me brother, sister or mother”. This in essence indicates that by living in obedience to God, we create a spiritual bloodline relationship with Him. Therefore, whoever does the will of God, creates a strong realtionship with Jesus.
Like a family, we become one with Jesus. Like a family bond, we create a family tie with Jesus.
So, like the love that exists in this bloodline, the more we love Him is the more He loves us.
As we strive to make the other person proud, let us not forget to make God proud, that is the most important.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to live the way He wants. May He continues to abide with you. Amen.