Ordinary Time - Week 10b

Our Lady and the Will of God

(From Conversation with God, Fernandez Carvajal)

In today's Gospel, Saint Mark tells us that the mother of Jesus came with some relatives asking for him, while He was speaking to a great number of people. Perhaps because of the crowd, which must have filled the house to overflowing, she remained outside and sent a message in to her Son. Then Jesus replied, 'Who are my mother and my brethren?' And looking round on those who sat about him, He said, 'Here are my mother and my brethren! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.' This is Christ's new family, with ties that are stronger than ties of blood, and to which Mary belongs in a most eminent way, because nobody ever carried out God's will with greater love and perfection than she did.

Our Lady is united to Jesus by a double bond. First of all because, when she accepted the Angel's message, she united herself intimately to God's will in a way we can scarcely comprehend. At the same time she acquired a spiritual motherhood over the Son whom she conceived so that she was bound still more closely to that family which Jesus has now proclaimed in the presence of his disciples. Saint Augustine has pointed out that Maternity according to the flesh would have been of little avail to Mary, if she had not first conceived Christ, in a still more fortunate way, in her heart, and only afterwards in her body. Mary becomes the mother of Jesus when she conceives him in her womb, is his mother when she looks after him, feeds and protects him, just as every mother does with her child. But Jesus came to establish the great family of the children of God and kindly included in it Mary herself for she did the will of the Father. And when He spoke of this heavenly parentage to his disciples, He showed that the Virgin Mary was united to him through a new family lineage. Mary is the mother of Jesus according to the flesh, and she is also the first amongst all those who hear the Word of God and keep it in its completeness.

We have the immense joy of being able to belong, with ties stronger than those of blood, to Christ's family, depending on the extent to which we carry out God's will. So the disciple of Christ should say, as did his Master, my food is to do the will of him who sent me, even when in order to do so he has to sacrifice, the natural sentiments of a family. In his turn, Saint Thomas explains this declaration of Jesus, in which He places the link forged by grace above that of family ties, saying that, having both a temporal and an eternal generation, He places the eternal above the temporal. Every member of the faithful who does the Will of God is a brother of Christ, because he becomes like him who always did the Will of the Father.

We can examine ourselves on whether we always have a desire to do what God wants of us, in big things as in small; in what we like and in what we dislike. We can ask our Mother Mary to teach us to love this holy Will in everything that happens, even in what we find hard to understand or to interpret adequately. In this way we already belong to Christ's family.