June 9, 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Family: a Sunday Scriptures blog

Who doesn’t know the song “We are Family”? That song has brought unity and joy into many human experiences, including during the 9/11 memorial concert. But in fact, families are complicated. In today’s Gospel, Jesus “came home with his disciples.” “Home” was Capernaum in Galilee, his preaching base. So many people immediately gathered to see and hear him that his relatives tried to rescue him. Jesus seemingly turns a cold shoulder on them by saying: “Who are my mother and my brothers? … for whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” 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 Jewish, so 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. And perhaps just as common, families also can become comfortable nests, so absorbing of our time and energy that they leave us without energy and willingness to reach out to others beyond family. Parishes also can become closed in on themselves. Reflect on why parishioners found it so difficult to be put together with others in “families of parishes.” So Jesus is trying to remind us that families are important, but so is our relationship with one another through faith. That bond with others in our faith communities can help us throughout life as we try to be faithful to doing the will of God.

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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