The WORD in Other Words by Frt. Kevin James M. Pizarras, SVD (Portugal) for Tuesday 16th Week in Ordinary Time
One hot summer night in the far away mountains of Alentejo, I had a video-call with my mother after a long, tiring yet missionary spirit-filled day. After happily introducing my companions to my mom, I started sharing with her about my missionary experiences and realizations. In the middle of our conversation, she started crying. Surprised, I asked her why. She said that I would never know the feeling unless I myself would become a mother. That moment struck me hard.
Today’s gospel does not portray a drama of an obvious rejection by Jesus of the Blessed Mother or his family or every family on earth. At first glimpse, it seems to be the antithesis to our cultural values, defyingthe clichés we have memorized by heart: “Blood is thicker than water,” “Family is everything in this world,” “Family is love”. It is in fact, from the perspective of the Good News, a radical challenge thrown by Jesus to his disciples and to all of us. Jesus wants us to realize that, in truth, we belong to a bigger and greater family, that is, God’s family! He hopes that our love for our own family may lead us to love all the more our eternal family where all of us are sisters and brothers doing our Heavenly Father’swill.
Perhaps I will really never discover the reason behind my mother’s tears. I can only speculate that she had either missed me or was glad to see me joyful and contented with my newfound family as a young religious missionary. Well, there can be possibly a thousand answers and explanations. The invitation, nevertheless, is crystal clear: to thank God for the gift of family – may it be by blood, by choice or by vocation!
Source – Bible Diary 2020