In today’s Gospel from Mark, Jesus seemingly turns a cold shoulder on his mother and “brothers” (extended family). When told they were outside the house where he was teaching, Jesus says: “Who are my mother and my brothers? … For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Note: The Gospel does not say that maybe he jumped up then and welcomed them in!) Perhaps this harsh episode was remembered and written down because people in Mark’s community sometimes had to choose between their families and their faith. In the same family, some family members became followers of Jesus, and others chose to remain only Jewish, and there was family strife. In our society, family is not always helpful for our faith. Bad things happen in families, and then people must leave their families, or invite others to leave, in order to stay whole and holy. Or sometimes families also can become so absorbing of our time and energy that they leave us without resources to reach out to others beyond family. Does my family life help me to do the will of God?
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia