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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 23.01.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 23.01.24

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2ND SAMUEL 6: 12b – 15, 17 – 19

In those days: David went and brought up the ark of God from  the house of Obededom to the city of David with rejoicing; and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an 0x and a fatling. And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was belted with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the horn. And they brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people departed, each to his house.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 
Psalm 24: 7, 8, 9, 10 (R.) 8ab

R/. Who is the king of glory? It is the Lord!

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory! R/.

“Who is this king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant;
the Lord, the valiant in war.” R/.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory! R/.

“Who is this king of glory?
He, the Lord of hosts,
he is the king of glory.” R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION 
Matthew 11: 25

Alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL        
“Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
MARK 3: 31 – 35

At that time: The mother of Jesus and his brethren came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brethren are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brethren?” And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brethren! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Doing the Will of God


January 23, 2024

“Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:34–35)

Jesus said many things that caused people to pause and think. Today’s Gospel passage is one of those times. Just prior to the passage quoted above, Jesus was told that His mother and brothers were outside looking for Him. After hearing this, instead of going to greet them, He asked those around Him, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” Then He looked around and answered His own question with the above quoted Scripture.

What may have caused some people to pause and think at that time, and even now when this passage is read, is that Jesus’ comments can easily be misunderstood. Some will conclude that He was distancing Himself from His own family and that He was even disowning them to a certain extent. But nothing could be further from the truth.

First of all, we know that Jesus had a perfect love for His dear mother Mary and that she loved Jesus with a perfect reciprocal love. As for His “brothers,” it was common to refer to one’s extended family (such as cousins) as brothers and sisters. Therefore, these brothers who were coming to see Jesus were relatives to one degree or another. And though our Blessed Mother, the mother of Jesus, was perfect in every way, Jesus’ extended family was not. Recall that some of them thought Jesus was out of his mind and tried to prevent His public ministry.

But back to our question: Was Jesus disowning His family members in some way? Certainly not. Instead, He was establishing a deeper context for His new family in grace. Though biological bonds are a gift and must be respected and cherished, the spiritual bonds established by our joint conformity to the will of God is of much greater importance. Jesus simply pointed to this fact, elevating the spiritual family bond over the purely natural. Of course, it’s also important to point out that Jesus’ mother was first and foremost His mother, not only because she gave physical birth to Jesus, but primarily because she was in perfect conformity to the will of God with Him and, thus, the most intimate member of His family by grace. And the same can be true for all of us. When we conform our wills to the will of God, we become Jesus’ “mother” in the sense that He enters our world through us. And we become His “brothers and sisters” in that we become intimate members of His eternal family and enjoy a profound and spiritual union with Him.

Reflect, today, upon the fact that you are called to be so much more than just a physical brother or sister of Christ Jesus. You are called to the most intimate and transforming familial union imaginable. And this union is more fully accomplished when you seek to fulfill the will of God with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength.

PRAYER:
My dear Lord, I desire deeply to become more fully a member of Your most intimate family in grace. Help me to always dedicate myself to the complete fulfillment of the will of our Father in Heaven. And as I conform my will more fully with that of the Father’s, draw me deeper and deeper into union with You. Jesus, I trust in You.

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