Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Reflection: Luke 8:19-21

Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time -  Luke 8:19-21

The Gospel for today is extremely brief: only 3 verses. Mary and Jesus’ brothers came to see him. Yet they were unable to reach him. He was surrounded by a crowd of people. Jesus was told: “Your mother and brothers are outside. They wish to see you.” Jesus responded and said: “My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

These words of Jesus may sound harsh to our ears. After all, family typically is the center of our lives. However, Jesus is not denying his family. Rather, his statement broadens the concept of family. He states that “anyone who hears the word of God and acts on it” is his mother, brother, and sister. Thus, if we strive to hear the word of God and then act on it, we also are part of Jesus’ family.

It typically is easier to hear the word of God than to act on it. To act on Jesus’ word calls each of us to love every person we encounter, even the individuals we may not like. Jesus calls us to stretch ourselves and act in a way that may go against the grain. Yet, Jesus lived these words each and every day. Today, be mindful of seeing every person you encounter as “a mother, brother, or sister.” What a wonderful gift to give to the other person and also to yourself!

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