Mi 7:14-15, 18-20
For the last week or so, our gospel readings at Mass are from the 11th and 12th chapters of Matthew’s gospel, which deal with the growing opposition to Jesus as he preaches and performs miracles in Galilee. It’s a rather dark section of the gospel.
Jesus is opposed by the Pharisees, who now take “counsel against him to put him to death” (Matthew 12.14) and by “this generation” of Israelites, the towns “where most of his mighty deeds had been done.” (Matthew 11,16-19). Seems he’s not having much success.
Concluding this section, Matthew adds another source of opposition to Jesus that may surprise us. His own family from Nazareth seems to oppose him.
As he’s speaking to the crowds, “his mother and his brothers” appear wanting to talk to him. How do they add to the opposition, we wonder? Were they off to a wedding or a funeral of a relative and were asking him to come along? Or, was the wheat harvest ready at Nazareth and they came looking for help? Or, they just wanted him for themselves for awhile?
Whatever it was, Jesus said that his family was the crowd before him and there he was meant to be. “ I belong here now,” Jesus seems to be saying to them.
Sometimes those closest to us, like our family, can be hard to manage, even though they want the best for us. We want to decide what’s best, but that kind of deciding isn’t always easy.
Is that what this gospel is about? Balancing good things is tough. Jesus had to do that too.
- Fr. Victor Hoagland, C.P.