(Year II) Tuesday
Gospel Reading: Mark 3:31-35
Today we have the reading where Jesus states 'Who is my mother and my brethren'. This passage has been translated many ways; some change 'brethren' to 'brother'. Both are correct.
In Jesus' time, family relations didn't have the intricate naming convention that has developed and that we are familiar with today. To refer to someone as 'brother' could mean an actual brother but it could also mean a cousin, nephew or any other relative.
Thus by using the word 'brethren' in the passage we don't have to start thinking that Mary the mother of Jesus had other children but understand that Jesus was referring to relatives.
After getting over the hurdle of 'brethren' we come to the real question of this passage; why would Jesus disown his mother and relatives? Family in the Jewish faith was very strong and important.
I think that Jesus was trying to convey to the disciples and those seated around him that His family was not bound to the earthly realm but belonged to the spiritual. It is this passage where Jesus explains to his disciples how a person becomes part of this spiritual family in the kingdom of God; by doing God's will.
Our God is a personal God but He respects our will and Jesus shows in today's reading that we must choose to do God's will in our lives in order to be part of the family of God.