Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Father Barry O’Toole, LC
The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” But he said to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are the author of life and the giver of all that is good. You are the Prince of Peace and my mainstay. You are my healer and the cure itself. I need you, and I need to give you. I love you and commit myself to you entirely, knowing you could never let me down or deceive me. Thank you for giving me your very self.
Petition: Lord, help me hear your word and do it.
1. “We Wish to See Jesus.” Today, as two thousand years ago, mankind longs to see the face of Jesus. Each one has his own reason: some are in need of healing –– like Bartimaeus, the blind man of Jericho who shouted after Jesus until he took pity and cured him (Mark 10:46-52); some out of curiosity –– like Zacchaeus, who climbed a tree to see Jesus because he was short in stature (Luke 19:2-10); some to hear his word –– like the crowd that pressed in on him to hear the word of God by the Lake of Gennesaret (Luke 5:1-10); some out of love and to look after him – like the Blessed Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene (Mark 15:41). Why do I wish to see him?
2. Christ Is Not Easily Conquered: “They could not reach him because of the crowd.” Though we may seek Christ with the purest of intentions, it is not always easy to achieve our goal. There are bound to be obstacles along the way, and we have to be prepared for them. Satan always tries to separate us from God through sin, even putting the fear of confession in our hearts so we don’t receive God’s healing grace. The world also attempts to keep us as far from God as possible, offering a thousand distractions and amusements to lead us away from prayer, reflection and conversion. And of course sometimes we ourselves are so little inclined to piety, service to others and a virtuous life. Laziness and indolence can overcome even the best of us. We need to let him know we are seeking him.
3. Jesus Rejects His Closest Friends? What counts for Jesus are “those who listen to the word of God and do it.” He came to preach to and save everyone. And contrary to the first impression given by his words, this does not exclude his mother and his relatives. Christ doesn’t lower them but rather elevates us –– and them –– to a degree of intimacy greater than blood ties. This is the beauty of God’s love: He calls us to an ever greater dignity and intimacy with him.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I want to see your face in all the events and happenings of this day. Drive away all my enemies and spiritual tepidity. Cure my spiritual blindness, for you alone can help me. Without you I can do no good. Help me to live up to this dignity you have bestowed upon me.
Resolution: I will reserve five minutes this evening to do a thorough examination of conscience and perhaps prepare for confession. I will eliminate the obstacles I have to seeing God’s face and thank God for the graces he has given me.