In the First Reading, we see Judah turning back to God. They ask God to Shepherd your people with your staff. They realize their sin and turn back to God. In their repentance, they say Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of your possession? They speak of God forgiving their sins: he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. God’s forgiveness is full forgiveness. His forgiveness means healing and redemption and restoration. But this does not mean I can continue to live as I want. Forgiveness requires full surrender to Jesus, total commitment to him.
Jesus points this out in the Gospel when someone told him his mother and brothers wanted to speak to him. He said who is my mother, and who are my brothers? Pointing to his disciples, he said “Here are my mother and brothers! Many use this as proof that Jesus disowned his mother. Apparently, this was also what some believed even during the time of Jerome and Chrysostom such that they had to comment on it. Chrysostom said, Jesus did not say She is not my mother. Instead, he said who is my mother.
Saying Jesus disowned his mother accuses Jesus of breaking the Law which commands honor to father and mother. Disowning Mary would be the greatest dishonor a son can do against his mother. Jesus in fact, honors Mary because he said for whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother. Jesus is saying, while Mary is his natural mother, Mary is his mother because she did the will of the Father. Jesus is not disowning her, but he stresses the blessedness of Mary, as the natural Mother of Jesus and the mother of Jesus because she obeyed God’s will.
This shows us that coming to the Lord requires total commitment to Jesus and total obedience to him, this means, we turn away from our sins and turn to Jesus, committing to obey the Father through him.
St Lawrence of Brindisi is a doctor of the Church, meaning his writings are worthy of study for spiritual growth. He was a Capuchin Franciscan and fluent in several languages including Hebrew. He was thoroughly well versed with Scripture and was diplomat and a missionary who was elected as minister general of his order in 1602. He refused re-election preferring to preach rather than be an administrator of his order. He probably saw that his skills are better use in preaching rather than governing his order so he gave up the position. His total commitment to the will of God allowed him to preach and write what are now used to teach people about the faith.
Lord, I come to you because I have rejected you and not done justice to you. Have mercy Lord and receive me again. Burn my heart with passion so I may have that desire to do your will. O God of my salvation, restore me again. Show me your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant me your salvation. St Lawrence of Brindisi, pray for me, that I may come to know Jesus. Pray that I may have that love for Scripture so I can know Jesus as he is.