Faith Daily | 24 January 2023
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p530
the strength of all those who put their trust in you:
mercifully accept our prayers,
and because through the weakness of our mortal nature
we can do nothing good without you,
grant us the help of your grace,
that in keeping your commandments
we may please you both in will and deed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 3: 31-35
And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Rachel McFadyen
These verses follow on from people saying he was possessed by a devil, had an unclean spirit, and was doing the work of the prince of demons. Verse 21 says “And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”
So Jesus’ family were not coming in a friendly way to help and support his ministry, they were coming to remove him, a sort of involuntary commitment, to look after him but also probably to stop him embarrassing the family! All this was happening in Galilee, not far from Nazareth, and no doubt everyone in the Jewish towns knew everyone else (think country Queensland!). The whole family was embarrassed and shamed by this individual who was doing extraordinary things in the villages around, and they wanted to put a stop to it.
Jesus’ answer makes it clear that family relationships must always be secondary to doing the will of God. Our only truly important relationship is the one we have with Jesus. The message for us today is that we need to make and maintain firm friendships with other Christians, as the disciples did with each other, for it is these Christian friends who will support us if our family does not. Jesus is calling on us all to be “brother and sister and mother (and also father)” to other believers. We may not share our childhood memories with other believers, but we share the most important relationship in life, that with God our Father and Jesus our brother, and this will give us the strength we need as we face challenges and difficulties in our lives.
Lord God, we thank you for Christian friends, and we ask your help as we support our friends, both in their faith, and in the everyday trials of life. In Jesus’ name.