I went to Mass this morning at my local parish. I usually go to an earlier mass in a neighboring town, but the busy-ness of the morning altered my schedule. So, off I went.
We have a fabulous, newly ordained, recently assigned young priest serving us. His preaching never ceases to pierce my heart, and it happened again this morning. I share his thoughts with you.
Today’s gospel is a familiar scene:
The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you.”
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” (Lk 8:19-21)
Now, I don’t know about you, but two things always come to mind when I hear this:
- “Oh, yeah, that ‘brother’s verse’ the one where we have to know our apologetics to defend the ‘Catholic position’ on Mary’s perpetual virginity,” and
- “Did Jesus just dis’ his mother???”
Well, Fr. Eric, provided a completely new paradigm. It goes like this:
Generally, the people closest to us over the course of our lives are our mother, father, and siblings. They tend to be the most familiar and the most intimate. Family.
Jesus says, “…those who hear the word of God and act on it are my family. They are the closest people in the world to me.”
Jesus shows us and indeed invites us to hold the most intimate of relationships with him. How? Very simply by reading, listening to, meditating on, and responding to the Word of God in the Holy Scriptures.
So today, I exhort you to respond to this invitation. Carve out time today, and perhaps regular time every day, to ingest the scriptures. Here are a few suggestions:
- Read the daily Mass readings to stay in tune with the liturgical year
- Memorize a few key verses to help you in your state in life
- Choose a gospel or epistle and read a little bit every day
- Pray the Divine Office
- Pray with the Magnificat
These are just a few ways to draw closer to Jesus via the scriptures. Any other suggestions you might like to share?
Come Holy Spirit! Anne