God Before All

In the first reading, Ezra the priest recounts the events leading to the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem. After the work was finished, the Jews celebrated exceedingly because finally, after many decades of exile, they could worship again in the Temple of God. For us now, to rebuild the Temple of God could mean to rebuild our inner selves that are broken, to rebuild our family relationships, and finally and most importantly, to rebuild the Christian community.

In the gospel, Jesus is preaching the Word of God to the people stating that the claims of physical relationship comes after the spiritual. He put all his attention in forming a community of believers dedicated to loving, worshiping and serving the God of heaven. What is important is not that we are blood brothers but that we are brothers in the faith dedicated to spreading the Good News and helping people to rebuild their lives. God is our Father so we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We put worship of God before family, service of God before having a great career and worldly success, and obedience to God before obedience to man. Mother Mary surely knew this but some of her relatives and some of the Jews listening to Jesus did not. So Jesus made it clear when he told the people: “My mother and brothers are those who hear the Word of God and put it into practice.”