Posted by: frburke23 | July 22, 2013

Thought for Tuesday, 16th Week in Ordinary Time

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you.”
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
“Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.”


Have you ever considered yourself a brother or sister of Jesus?

Do you consider yourself as part of His family?

Hopefully your answer is an affirmative YES.  However, if you have never considered yourself as part of Jesus’ family, He is inviting you today to consider the invitation.  “Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Some have tried to interpret this Gospel story in different ways:

1)     They say that Jesus is putting down His mother Mary.  This is not the case at all.  Jesus is rather affirming all of us who try to do His will.  And the Scriptures are clear about Mary’s role – “Blessed are you among women…”  (Luke 1:42)  And Jesus followed the 4th Commandment of honoring His father and mother.

2)    Others say that this Scripture means that Jesus had biological siblings and therefore Mary is not ever-virgin.  I think the key Scripture that points to Jesus not having siblings is John 19:27 – “John, behold your mother.”  Jesus was watching out for His mother from the cross because in that society women only had social standing through the men in their families.  Joseph had already died and Mary’s only son, Jesus, was about to die.  If Jesus had brothers, Mary simply would have been entrusted to one of them.  However, Jesus entrusted His mother to John, the beloved disciple. 

The significance of this Scripture is that the Lord invites us all to be a part of His family – intimate members of His household.  We become His sons and daughters through our baptism.  But we must also do the will of God the Father to maintain that relationship.   What must we do to do the will of the Father?

We must pray to know the will of the Father.

We must put our faith into action.

We must have the courage to follow wherever the Lord calls us.

Is there anything holding you back?

Are you spending quality time in prayerful conversation with the Lord every day in order to know His will?

Are you putting your faith into action?

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation:

MatEO 12:46-50

Mientras Jesús le hablaba a la multitud,
su madre y sus hermanos aparecieron afuera,
deseando hablar con él.
Alguien le dijo, “Tu madre y tus hermanos están afuera,
pidiendo hablar contigo. ”
Sin embargo, dijo, en respuesta a quien le dijo,
“¿Quién es mi madre? ¿Quiénes son mis hermanos? ”
Y extendiendo su mano hacia sus discípulos, dijo,
“Éstos son mi madre y mis hermanos.
Porque cualquiera que hace la voluntad de mi Padre celestial
es mi hermano, y hermana, y madre”.


¿Alguna vez te has considerado a ti mismo un hermano o hermana de Jesús?
¿Te consideras como parte de su familia?
Esperamos que tu respuesta sea un SÍ afirmativo. Sin embargo, si nunca te has considerado como parte de la familia de Jesús, Él te invita hoy a considerar la invitación. “El que hace la voluntad de mi Padre celestial es mi hermano, y hermana, y madre.”

Algunos han tratado de interpretar este relato del Evangelio de diferentes maneras:

1) Dicen que Jesús está echando su madre María. Este no es el caso en absoluto. Jesús es más bien afirmando todos los que tratan de hacer su voluntad. Y las Escrituras son claras sobre el papel de María – “Bendita tú entre las mujeres…” (Lucas 1:42) Y Jesús siguió el cuarto mandamiento de honrar a su padre ya su madre.

2) Otros dicen que esta Escritura significa que Jesús tenía hermanos biológicos, por lo que María nunca fue Virgen. Creo que la clave de la Escritura que señala a Jesús no tener hermanos es Juan 19:27 – “Juan, ahí tienes a tu madre.” Jesús estaba pendiente de su madre desde la cruz, porque en la sociedad las mujeres sólo tenían posición social a través de los hombres en su familia. José ya había muerto y el único hijo de María, Jesús, estaba a punto de morir. Si Jesús tuvo hermanos, María simplemente habría sido confiada a uno de ellos. Sin embargo, Jesús confió su madre a Juan, el discípulo amado.

El significado de este pasaje es que el Señor nos invita a todos a ser parte de su familia – miembros íntimos de Su familia. Nos convertimos en Sus hijos e hijas a través de nuestro bautismo. Pero también tenemos que hacer la voluntad de Dios Padre para mantener esa relación. ¿Qué debemos hacer para hacer la voluntad del Padre?

Debemos orar para saber la voluntad del Padre.
Debemos poner nuestra fe en acción.
Debemos tener el coraje de seguir a donde el Señor nos llama.

¿Hay algo que te detiene?
¿Estás gastando tiempo de calidad en la conversación con el Señor en oración todos los días con el fin de conocer su voluntad?
¿Estás poniendo tu fe en acción?

¡Tengan un día bendecido!

Fr. Burke



  1. Dear Fr Burke,

    Your reflections are so helpful; today’s especially so.

    I have been reading Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, Fire of Mercy, Heart of the Word. This is a three volume book on the Gospel of Matthew. He talks about Jesus’ yoke in much the same way you described it last week. Jesus invites us to share in His work.



    Prime Architectural Metal and Glass, Inc.

    Michael Butz 926 Lunt Avenue Schaumburg, IL 60193 847 891 3725 Phone 847 891 6063 Fax

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