Gen 3. 9:15; II Cor 4:13–5:1; Mk 3:20-35
What did God say after creating Adam? I must be able to do better than that! What did God say after creating Eve? “Practice make perfect.”
Adam and Eve must have had a great marriage. Adam couldn’t talk about his Mother’s cooking, and Eve couldn’t mention all the men she could have married. How did Adam and Eve feel when expelled from the Garden of Eden? They were definitely put out.
In today’s first reading we find, God looks for Adam in the Garden. Adam tells God that he hid because he was naked. This really is not about nudity. God created the body and therefore it is beautiful, not something that Adam had to hide from God. No, this is about being exposed before the Lord. He wanted to be like God. Adam was self-centered. His desires were more important than God’s will. He was disobedient. God could not tell him what he could or could not do. Then, at the fall, Adam recognized what he was really like, proud, self-centered and disobedient. He was exposed before God. He was naked. He hid himself.
Even during God’s questioning, Adam refused to take the blame for his actions. According to Adam, it was Eve’s fault. Adam even notes that God was responsible for creating Eve. Adam’s nakedness was even further revealed. It is sad, but we can look into the depths of Adam’s nakedness and see our own refusal to submit to God’s will as well as our own rationalization for the things we do wrong.
Like Adam, we all stand naked before the Lord. Do we have to hide ourselves, or do we want the Lord to see us exactly as we are?
In today’s Gospel we see the attitude that Jesus’s contemporaries had toward him. We see people who gather with love and faith to listen to his teachings. These are the Apostles, the disciples of Jesus; those who love him and those who were attracted to His teaching. These are the people who realized that “He has the words of eternal life. And they believe and know that (Jesus) is the Holy One of God” (Jn 6:69).
There are also the scribes who did not accept Jesus as the expected Messiah and said that “He is possessed by Beelzebul” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons” (Mk 3: 22). His mother and other relatives also went to Jesus, for people had been saying, “He is out of his mind.” (Mk 3:21b).
Everyone was interested in Jesus. His family, disciples and others who cared about him, were friendly to him and worried about him; they loved him. But there are those who firmly hated him, who were looking for evidence to discredit him.
These two extreme attitudes are present throughout the history of Christianity. However, we must note that it is Christ who ultimately wins, so “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Phil 2:10).
We who look at Jesus in today’s Gospel, need to ask in our hearts, “What is my attitude towards the Master of Nazareth?” Where would I take my place in the crowds of people who surrounded Jesus?
The Lord Jesus asks in today’s Gospel: “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God, is my brother and sister and mother” (Mk 3: 33-35).
These words seem to be a distressing reproach to Mary and Jesus’s relatives. However, Jesus’s mother and relatives could not hear them, because they were still outside. These words were addressed to those who were sitting close to Jesus, inside the house, next to him. He was letting them know that for him, they were like his mother, like his brothers, like his closest family.
Dear friends! The Lord Jesus says to each of us: “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
We know that nobody in the history of mankind listened to the Word of God like Mary, in whom the Word became flesh. Also no one ever fulfilled the will of God in a more perfect manner than Mary, the Handmaid of the Lord.
Mary, the Mother of our Lord, crushed the head of the ancient serpent. She told us to “do whatever Jesus tells you.” Today, let us ask Mary to help us, so that every day we can listen to and fulfill the will of God, and thus be more intimately united with the family of God.