In today’s gospel we have one of those incidences where Jesus is often accused of not caring about his mother: “The mother and brothers of Jesus came looking for him.”
They could not get near Jesus because of the crowds and Jesus is told that they are outside. Jesus says that ‘my mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and keep it.’
It sounds harsh but in fairness to Luke, who is recording the story, and to Jesus, what they are doing is using something like what we call ‘dramatic irony’ when an exaggerated story is told to make a point.
What Jesus was saying was that this new life of the gospel and this new kingdom of heaven which he was preaching are the most important things in the world and a person will not grasp the real significance of his words if they do not make them the most important thing in their lives.
So many of us play at being Christians: we are half in and half out. Jesus is saying that this attitude gets us nowhere. We are like those people who want to be great footballers but who don’t want to train.
The Christian life requires effort and commitment, and it is an everyday work, that goes on for the rest of our lives. This is what Jesus is really trying to tell us, ‘take this life serious and it brings benefits, treat it half-heartedly and we are wasting our time.’