31 And his mother and his brethren[a] came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brethren[b] are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brethren?” 34 And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brethren! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
St. Mark 3
One of my Bibles has this section of the Gospel, verses 31 to 35, under the heading of “The True Kindred of Jesus.”
The Blessed Virgin Mary has a prominent place in our understanding of the will of God. Indeed all mothers we can read about in Holy Scriptures are hugely important. Some misguided people think that women were of less importance than men in the times of the Bible.
It might seem that way to those who are looking to prove a point, but the truth is that women are so important that they are not only valued highly, not only as mothers, but as the teachers of sacred tradition in the family.
Proverbs 31 is often cited as a portrait of a Godly woman. Verse 10 is begins
A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
A good wife is not a servant, but a partner, a partner who works together for the good of a family. In fact, the woman is the very glue that holds a family together. If that job was left to a man, the odds of the family thriving go way down. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but most men lack the ability to nurture in the way a mother can.
And look at poor Adam and Eve. Adam was supposed to protect Eve, and look what happened. Where was Adan when the serpent crept up on Eve? He dropped the ball, that’s for sure.
Some people blame Eve for the Fall, but I think it was Adam’s fault, and we have been paying for it ever since. I think that all the problems in the world are caused by irresponsible men.
At least we have good some good role models in the Holy Scriptures. From Abraham, the father of a great nation to Joseph, the husband of the blessed Virgin Mary, and step-father to our Lord.
And we have our Mother, Mary, who is the mother of our Lord. I say our mother, because as members of the Body of Christ, she is mother to us all. She is worthy of devotion, just as we are devoted to our earthly mothers, those still with us, and those that have gone before.
Devotion to the Mother of our Lord has long been a tradition in the Church. We don’t pray to Mary, asking for some special favors, or to grant us salvation. Salvation is from the Lord Jesus alone.
We can ask Mary to pray for us. We know that her Son listens to her. We have example of that in the story of the wedding feast in Cana. All she had to do was say a simple phrase to Jesus; “They have no wine.” The rest, you know! Soon they had the best wine they ever had!
The Virgin Mary has appeared to many people over the years.
You know by the special names they give her, such as Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and close to my heart, Our Lady of Walsingham. You can read about these appearances, and you can believe if you want. That’s up to you. I invite you to approach these with an open mind, and with spiritual eyes.
The prayer of the Rosary is one of the most famous and memorable verses every written
Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed are you and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us now, and at the hour of our death.
The rosary is a great way to deepen your spiritual life. Try it some time. You might be surpised.
The point of this small piece of the Gospel is that we all are kin to Jesus when we do his will. We are his brothers and sisters, and you ladies are his mothers. That should bring you a bit closer to him every time you think of it. So think about it often! And consider yourself part of the family. Amen.