Monday, June 4, 2018

Mary's "Yes!" - June 10, 2018

Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time  
Year B

Reading I:  Genesis 3:9-15

Psalm: 130

Reading II:  2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

Gospel:  Mark 3:20-35

Sometimes people are puzzled when they hear Jesus’ response after He is told that His mother and brothers are outside. They had come since they were very concerned about Jesus because of the way that He was being treated. They had come to offer support.

Nonetheless, instead of going out to greet them, Jesus turns to his listeners in the synagogue and says, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” Looking around at those in the circle He says, “Here are my mother and brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Is Jesus being disrespectful to his mother? Looking at the whole of Scriptures, we know that Jesus loved and appreciated his mother. Then, what is this about?
He is reminding people that those who do the will of His Father are the ones closest to Him.

Mary certainly gives us many examples of one who chose to do the will of God, no matter the cost to herself. First, she accepted the call to be the Mother of Jesus in a situation which caused pain and misunderstanding to her, Joseph, and probably her parents. Then, she endured the pain and anxiety of difficult travel on a donkey when she was about to give birth. She probably felt bad about the trouble this caused to Joseph, too. Nevertheless, seeing this as God’s Will, she again said, “Yes.”  Both she and Joseph experienced rejection as there was no Inn in which she could give birth. Only a cave which housed animals was to be the birthing place of the Son of God. How she must have wondered about this turn of events! Nevertheless, fiat (which is Latin it done according to your word) was the attitude of her heart. This was just the beginning!

Then there was the need to flee to Egypt to avoid Jesus’ being put to death with the other baby boys.  There was the anxiety when at the age of twelve, Jesus seemed lost in the Temple. She had to accept the fact that He would need to be “about his Father’s business.”  Later, she had to let Him go into His public ministry with the disciples. How she must have worried about Him when she heard of the conflicts He dealt with, in spite of the fact that He was “going about doing good.” How was she to interpret what seemed like Jesus’ ignorance of her concern and efforts to support him? She probably didn’t understand it, yet again, she was willing to accept and do the Father’s Will.

In truth, Jesus was honoring His mother as she is one who gave herself totally to living her “Yes” to the Father’s Will. Jesus knew that she would be faithful ’til
the end
, even to witnessing her precious Son being crucified. If we want to be close to the Lord, we must also learn to say “Yes” and remain faithful under
all circumstances.

 Reflection Question:   How can I have the strength to say “Yes” to the Lord under difficult circumstances?

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...
Maria "¡Sí!"

A veces las personas se quedan perplejas cuando oyen la respuesta de Jesús después de que le dicen que su madre y sus hermanos están afuera. Vinieron porque estaban muy preocupados por Jesús debido a la forma en que lo estaban tratando. Vinieron para ofrecer apoyo.

No obstante, en lugar de salir a saludarlos, Jesús se dirige a sus oyentes en la sinagoga y dice: “¿Quiénes son mi madre y mis hermanos?” Mirando a los que están en el círculo, Él dice: “Aquí están mi madre y mis hermanos. Porque quien hace la voluntad de Dios es mi hermano, mi hermana y mi madre”.

¿Jesús está siendo irrespetuoso con su madre? Al observar todas las Escrituras, sabemos que Jesús amó y apreció a su madre. Entonces, ¿de qué
se trata esto? Él le recuerda a la gente que aquellos que hacen la voluntad
de su Padre son los más cercanos a él.

María ciertamente nos da muchos ejemplos de alguien que eligió hacer la voluntad de Dios, sin importar el costo para ella. Primero, aceptó el llamado a ser la Madre de Jesús en una situación que le causó dolor y malentendidos a ella, a José y probablemente a sus padres. Luego, soportó el dolor y la ansiedad de viajar con dificultad en un burro cuando estaba a punto de dar a luz. Probablemente ella también se sintió mal por el problema que esto le causó a José. Sin embargo, viendo esto como la Voluntad de Dios, ella nuevamente dijo: “Sí”. Tanto ella como José experimentaron el rechazo ya que no había posada en la que pudiera dar a luz. Solo una cueva que albergaba animales sería el lugar de nacimiento del Hijo de Dios. ¡Cómo se debe haber preguntado sobre este giro de los acontecimientos! Sin embargo, fíat (que es latino para ... hágalo de acuerdo a su palabra) era la actitud de su corazón. ¡Esto fue solo el comienzo!

Luego hubo la necesidad de huir a Egipto para evitar que Jesús fuera ejecutado junto con los otros bebés varones. Hubo ansiedad cuando a la edad de doce años, Jesús parecía perdido en el Templo. Ella tuvo que aceptar el hecho de que Él necesitaría estar “a cargo de los asuntos de su Padre”. Más tarde, ella tuvo
que dejarlo ir a su ministerio público con los discípulos. Cómo debe haberse preocupado por él cuando se enteró de los conflictos que abordó, a pesar del hecho de que estaba “haciendo el bien”. ¿Cómo iba a interpretar lo que parecía ser la ignorancia de Jesús sobre su preocupación y los esfuerzos para apoyarla? ¿él? Probablemente no lo entendió, una vez más, estaba dispuesta a aceptar y hacer lo La voluntad del padre.

En verdad, Jesús estaba honrando a su madre, ya que ella es una que se entregó totalmente a vivir su “Sí” a la Voluntad del Padre. Jesús sabía que ella estaría fieles hasta el final, incluso a presenciar a su precioso Hijo siendo crucificado.
Si queremos estar cerca del Señor, también debemos aprender a decir “Sí” y permanecer fieles en todas las circunstancias.

 Pregunta de reflexión:   ¿Cómo puedo tener la fuerza para decir "Sí" al Señor en circunstancias difíciles?


  1. I think that the ability to say “yes” to God in difficult circumstances is possible only if one has an intimate relationship with Him through which the gifts of love, trust and gratitude are an active part of daily life. Mary had a deep faith in God and was committed to prayer. Without a doubt her deep love of God provided her with the confidence that her “Yes” would not only please God but that she would be given the strength to bear whatever challenges would result.
    Growing up, I had a perception of God as a distant Being capable of anger and ready to punish me if I did something displeasing to Him. Obviously that thinking was inaccurate but anyone who regards God in that fashion would say “yes” out of fear and probably not be committed to the task. I am very fortunate to have been guided to the truth of God’s unconditional love. With that understanding comes the desire to want to please Him. “Yes” comes easier and with sincerity knowing that He will not only give me the courage and strength to persevere but that He will be accompanying me on the journey.
    Life has provided enough opportunities for me to know that God is faithful to His promises. Prayer connects me to my Heavenly Father and is the means through which I can talk to God and ask for His support. I trust that He is Present in my daily life. I also find that “Yes” is the natural response to a life of gratitude. When I recount all the blessings that have been so lavishly bestowed upon me, it is hard to imagine saying “no” to something that God is asking of me.
    I recently finished reading the book, “Prisoners of Hope.” Two missionaries from the United States, Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer, tell of their captivity, imprisonment, and torture in Afghanistan where God’s call led them to serve, and how He sustained them throughout their ordeal. They end their book with a note to the reader reminding us of Hebrews 13:5 in which God promises to be with us, no matter what obstacles come our way, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Their story is one of profound faith and trust in God. I read of so many current day missionaries who sacrifice daily in their service to others in countries all over the globe where they share the love of God with the poor and oppressed at great risk to themselves but with deep trust in the Lord knowing that the gift of eternal life awaits them.
    I may not be led to faraway lands to minister; however, I need look no further than my family, neighborhood, workplace or church community to answer God’s call to serve. Sometimes saying, “Yes” feels overwhelming and burdensome but when I remember God’s love and His promise of assistance, the task at hand becomes doable and grace-filled when I connect to God and recharge through prayer. For those times I feel challenged to respond positively to God’s will, I recall the Annunciation and the Visitation and call on Mary to intercede for me in my efforts to step out of my comfort zone and accept God’s invitation to grow. Mary is a powerful companion who is eager to help us to grow in love, trust and gratitude of our Lord. Mary’s life is a reminder to us that a “Yes” to God always bears fruit.
    A favored Scripture passage that reminds me of the value of saying “Yes” to God is Jeremiah29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
    What more could we ask for? Have a Blessed week,
    Pat C., ASBS

  2. Sr. Therese M. WarnerJune 5, 2018 at 9:36 AM

    Absolutely! Of course, we want to be completely certain that whatever is being considered would really be God's will. If so, the answer should definitely be "yes"... always! We'll try to "accentuate the positive", won't we?
    Your suggestion is appreciated, Sister.

    The following excerpts are from a homily by Father Edward Mazich, O.S.B.:

    "Today marks the first time the Church will celebrate a Sunday of Ordinary Time since Feb. 11 - almost four months ago. In the meantime, of course, we have observed the seasons of Lent and Easter, and then at the conclusion of the Easter season we celebrated three other great feasts
    on Sundays - Pentecost, Trinity Sunday and Corpus Christi."

    "Following these celebrations, the Church now settles into the long ecclesial summertime that leads us back to the beginning of the next liturgical year, which begins this year on December second, the first Sunday of Advent.
    Readings for Ordinary Time cover a wide range of topics and historical eras before we hear from Genesis on this tenth Sunday of the season."

    "The focus of the Church now brings us to the third chapter
    of Mark, where Jesus has been preaching the Kingdom, healing many who were sick, and casting out demons.
    Seeing how His actions were badly misinterpreted by his enemies, Jesus emphasizes what it takes to be his true
    and faithful disciples. Those who attributed his teaching and power to unclean sources have closed themselves ... from his goodness, but those who hear his word and keep it, even if their efforts are imperfect, are the ones who find in Him life, forgiveness, renewal and redemption. As the Lord taught himself so forcefully. 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.' (Mark 3: 34-35.)"

    "As we forge into the summertime of the church year, let it be our resolve to turn away from the pattern if sin cast in Genesis and exemplifies by the scribes in the Gospel, so that with all God's holy people we might be numbered among the sisters and brothers of the Lord, saying always with the psalmist, 'with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.' (Ps 130:7)"