Introduction: our third ‘Lectio divina’ follows the topic of the previous month, from the same Gospel of Mark 3:20-35,
[Choose a quiet place, free of noise; sit in the most comfortable position, light a candle if you wish and begin with a prayer]
You not only created me in your own likeness
but you called me by my name from
mother’s womb, a name that gave me identity
and dignity to be kept and not destroyed it or
disfigured it, for I am your child and you my Father/Mather.
I am grateful that you have chosen me to follow your Son
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who lives and reigns whit you
and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen
- Read the Gospel of Mark 3:31-35: read it slowly and listen attentively to the scriptures with the ‘ear of your heart’. What word, sentence or phrase stands out for you? [spend 2 min of silence]
- Reflect: read the passage again and pay attention of what touches you; why is it meaningful for you. What thought or reflection comes to you. [spend 2 min of silence]
- Respond: read the passage again and this time responds spontaneously to the word of God. In other words, make a dialogue with God what comes from within you. What gift does this passage lead me to ask for from the Lord? [spend 2 min of silence]
- Stay with the Word: read the passage a final time and rest in the word. Allow God to speak to you in deep silence. Don’t say anything just listen to God’s words. What is He saying? [spend 5 min of silence]
- Take now the word, sentence or phase, into your daily life/activity; allow it to become part of you. Always listen to it, reflect on it, pray over it and rest on it as time allows during the day. Then allow the Word lead you action.
Concluding your ‘Lectio Divina’ with the ‘Our Father’…
Central message: “The true family of Jesus”
1. Main points
- A bit of background: If we go back to verses 20-21, we read that Jesus and his disciples went to Capernaum, his new home, and could not even have time to eat because they were so busy welcoming and attending the crowds. His family heard that he was acting strangely and that he was out of his mind, so they set out to take him back to Nazareth thinking perhaps this could keep the family’s reputation intact. In Jesus’ time the situation of families was with a lot of strain politically, economically and religiously. Being under the power of the Roman Empire they had to pay their taxes and forced to host soldiers in their homes; the tithes paid to the temple and the observance of the religious norms of purity led many people to be marginalized and excluded from the community (excommunicated) like women, children, Samaritans, lepers, possessed, tax collectors, the sick, the disable etc. Those constrains obliged the families to close up themselves to protect their existence and family values and at the same time weaken the values of community living, inclusion and respect for human dignity.
- “The true family”: In verses 31-35, Mark tells us of the arrival of Jesus’ relatives to the house where He was staying. His mother was with them. They could not enter but they sent Him a message: “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside asking for you!” Instead of stopping and excusing Himself to go out and meet His dear Mother and relatives, He turned this question with another question to them: “Who are my mother and my brothers?” “Here are my mother and my brothers! Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother! He certainly isn’t speaking about His biological mother or His brothers. He is talking about those who believe in Him, and by believing in Him, they do what He asks. Jesus is not being disrespectful or rude to His mother or His brothers, but He reacts by not allowing the family to draw Him away from His mission of building God’s Kingdom. He doesn’t want to remain close up in His small and limited family but wanted to make known His kingdom by the creation of a new community a new extended family where no one is excluded. He invites his followers to open themselves up and include everyone. Those excluded and marginalized from the community should be accepted, once again, into the new family of God.
2. Some questions for our reflexion
- How does your family help you to participate in the Christian community? What is your role in the Christian community?
- What is your family/community doing for those marginalized and excluded?