Daily Gospel Reflection for July 23, 2019

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Today’s Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50

Jesus seems frustrated, even broken-hearted, in this reading. All He wants is to love the people gathered around him and to heal their lives, but at the moment the knock is heard, He is preaching a fiery sermon to a crowd he calls a “brood of vipers” and an “evil generation.” Someone interrupts to declare that His mother and brothers are outside asking to speak with Him, and Jesus seems to snap:

“Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

At first glance, His response might seem disrespectful of his family. But through the lens of Jesus’ love for his friends — who remain faithfully by His side in this agonizing moment — and in light of His tender devotion to Mary, who trusts him completely, we can see more clearly just how hard He is trying to save the souls in the room with Him. He can’t break away, just yet. He is making a point. And it is critical that they hear Him.

I have to wonder, as Jesus faced hostile crowds that openly challenged Him, demanding signs and trying to make Him look foolish, just how passionately His family and friends must have longed to comfort Him.

We, too, can comfort Jesus. We can be the ones who listen and believe; who take our sins into the confessional and humbly lay them down; who seek to do the will of the Father; and who receive the Eucharist with affectionate hearts full of gratitude. We can let him love us and heal our lives.

Ponder:

Jesus is longing to heal my life. What can I surrender, in this moment, to open my heart to more grace?

Pray:

Precious Jesus, open my heart to allow You to love me, and strengthen me to return that love by living generously in the Father’s will. Amen.


Copyright 2019 Lisa Mladinich

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Lisa Mladinich is the best-selling author of True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life and the host of Shalom World TV's WOMAN: Strong Faith, True Beauty. Her co-host is Carrell Jamilano, a spiritual director and young adult minister in the Los Angeles area.

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