28Jan 28 January, 2020. Tuesday of Week 3

St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church (Memorial)

1st Reading: 2 Samuel 6:12-15, 17-19

David dances before the ark, on its return to Jerusalem. The celebration ends with a sacred banquet

King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing; and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. David danced before the Lord with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, an with the sound of the trumpet.

They brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and sacrifices of well-being before the Lord. When David had finished these burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes.

Responsorial: Psalm 23:7-10

Response: Who is the king of glory? It is the Lord

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant,
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is he, the king of glory?
He, the Lord of armies,
he is the king of glory.

Gospel: Mark 3:31-35

Whoever does the will of God is family to Jesus

The mother and brothers of Jesus came, and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”


Two kinds of family

It is our commitment to doing the will of God, says Jesus, that makes us family to him. The quality of his disciples does not depend on rank or position, talents or financial resources, but on being devoted to the will of God. We are to be members of a worldwide family, where each human being is treasured as one of our own.

In this story, Jesus appears to relativise and loosen traditional family ties in favour of belonging to a worldwide family under God. When his mother and some relatives came for him, he did not immediately respond to their wishes. Why? He seems to say that we belong to a much wider circle. He calls attention to a relationship based on spiritual values rather than blood kinship. We must also remember how, in his dying moments on the cross, he provides for his mother Mary (John chapter 19). Even this final, loving concern for his mother is part of his caring for the wider family of his disciples. “From that hour, the disciple took her into his own home.” Jesus designates his mother at the centre of the whole church, the centre of a worldwide praying community (Acts 1:12-14).

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