Who are my mother and my brothers?

His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.” But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. [For] whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 3:31-35

Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of all. As the Creed tells us, He is :

the only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.

Nicene Creed

It is a great gift that anyone who is baptized as a Christian becomes a child of God and an heir to Heaven. In Baptism, we, or our parents and godparents, on our behalf, reject sin and profess our faith in God the Father, and in His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. We acknowledge our belief in the Holy Spirit and the holy Catholic Church. Guided by the Spirit, the Church continues Jesus saving work on earth. By Baptism, we enter this Church and become His brother or sister. This makes us destined for Heaven and eternal happiness with God and the saints.

In this passage, Jesus tells us what is necessary to remain a child of God, a member of his family, destined for Heaven.

We must do the will of God.

Do you want to be a brother or sister of Jesus? Do you want to enjoy his friendship, guidance, and care? Do you want to inherit Heaven and an eternity of happiness and peace?

Do the will of His Father.

Reflection

Do I strive to do the will of God the Father? How can I know His Will?

Activity

God reveals his will in Sacred Scripture and in the teachings of the Church. Before you go to bed tonight, look over this examination of conscience and see if you are following God’s will. http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacraments-and-sacramentals/penance/upload/Examination-of-Conscience.pdf

Something new

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.
People came to Jesus and objected,
“Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, 
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them,
“Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.
But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast on that day.
No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak.
If he does, its fullness pulls away,
the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins,
and both the wine and the skins are ruined.
Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”

MK 2:18-22

There is much going on in this passage that may be confusing to us. So we will go through this passage bit by bit to make sense of it.

The “John” referred to is John the Baptist. The Pharisees were scholarly Jews, who kept strict observance of the Jewish law. Fasting was seen as an important practice to atone for sin.

This story takes place early on in Mark’s gospel as Jesus is first calling his apostles to Himself and revealing Himself through signs and teachings. Some people want to follow Him, others distrust Him. Many are wondering, “Is He the Messiah?”

Jesus refers to Himself as the bridegroom. This is important. He is the Eternal Bridegroom. As we study the Scriptures, we learn what this means. Jesus is the bridegroom. The Church He establishes is the bride. He will love her and give up His body, His life for her. He will live and die so as to save her and unite her fully with Him. All who are members of the Church will share in His life, death, resurrection and ascension. All who are part of the Church will eventually be where He is, living as He lives, in eternal happiness, in the Love of the Spirit, and the presence of the Father.

Finally, when Jesus speaks of the new cloth and the old cloak, the new wine and the old wineskins, He is alerting His listeners – He is utterly new. His mission is unique. There has never been another like Him, nor will there ever be. He is the one, and the only one, to follow.

Reflection

Do I realize that there never was, nor will there ever be any Savior but Jesus? Do I live my life, listening for Him? Trying to understand Him? Following Him?

Activity

For the next 5 days, keep a “journal” – notes on a phone or a piece of paper next to your bed. At the end of every day, look back on your day. Whom did you admire, emulate, want to be like? Whom did you follow and put your trust in?