As Jesus teaches the crowds, some of His male kin (“brethren”- relatives of Joseph and Mary from Nazareth), concerned about Jesus’ well-being and the family’s reputation, seek to seize Christ and bring Him back to the simple life in Nazareth (Mark 3:21). They are joined by the Blessed Virgin Mary who attempts to draw near to Him but the crowds are so great. Mary’s message, perhaps relayed through the crowd, is used by Christ to teach the crowd.  His spontaneous response is powerful: all men and women who do the will of God are His family, and each are related in the Spirit to each other. It is a beautiful proclamation to those hurting, isolated and longing for love; it also is a rebuke to Christ’s male kin who seek to deter Him from His mission.

Some mistakenly interpret this event as Christ acting in a callous and divisive way to Our Lady. Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Christ, the Perfection of God, perfectly keeps all the laws, including the 4th Commandment to “Honor your father and mother…” Christ, Person of the Trinity, lovingly causes the Immaculate Conception of Mary and loves her deeply; Christ will crown Mary the Queen of Heaven.  As Christ reveals, she “ who does the will of the Father is His “mother”; Mary, in her Immaculate Conception,  perfectly does God’s will in her fiat (Luke 1:38). Mary is not shunned; she honored by the Son of God as the perfect example.

Some mistakenly use the reference to the “brethren” of Jesus as proof that Mary had other children; this is false.  As taught by the Church for 2000 years, Jesus was the only child of the Virgin Mary, who remained a virgin her entire life; Jesus had no blood brothers or sisters. A number of points support this truth. Because Hebrew had no word for “cousin”, the word “brethren” was used instead. The “brethren of Jesus” are never called the children of Mary but Jesus is clearly Mary’s son. James and Joseph, mentioned as brethren of Jesus, are actually the sons of another Mary (Matt 27:56). Jesus gives His mother Mary to His disciple John at the crucifixion; Jesus would not have chosen John if He had blood brothers to care for His Mother Mary.

Awed by Jesus ChristPerson of the Trinity, Christ causes the Immaculate Mother of Christ to be born and, Son of Mary,  loves Mary beyond measure.  Son of Man, Christ is the perfection of manhood who perfectly keeps the 4th Commandment to honor His father and mother. Divine Teacher, Christ spontaneously reacts with great wisdom to events, using them to further the explanation of the Gospel.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ’s infinite love of Mary cannot be fully grasped, for it is the perfection of love; marvel at the love of God who creates a perfect young women to be His mother and His consent to enter into her blessed womb. Review the Catechism’s introduction to the Virgin Mary (CCC 487-511) and grow in awe of her.

2) In God’s infinite wisdom, He desires that all men have the blessing of a mother (and father!).  Mothers, like all humans, are prone to sin and fail their children in various ways, sometimes causing deep wounds; and all mothers eventually die. In the Blessed Virgin, Christ has given the Church a perfect mother who never fails to love those who come to Her. Realize your deep need for Mary and grow in devotion to her (CCC 963-976), being a man who fulfills Mary’s prophecy, “All generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:48).

3) With the rejection and breakdown of marriage, many mothers and fathers have failed to give their children the blessing of a stable home; many grown men struggle to fully respect and love thir parents. Renew your understanding of The 4th Commandment (Honor thy father and mother…CCC 2197-2257) and pray for Christ to help you to grow in love of your parents, whether living or dead.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels

Virtue of the Day – Justice

Corporal Work of Mercy – To clothe the naked

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To counsel the doubtful