At a school Mass the pastor was preaching a long sermon, and the children got
restless. A lad in the front pew started to whisper to the student next to him.
Several pews behind, Sister pointed in their direction and told the boy beside
her, "Tell him to stop talking." The boy walked up to the sanctuary and said,
"Father, Sister says for you to stop talking."
We read in today’s Gospel that Jesus’ townspeople wanted him to stop talking.
At every Mass Jesus speaks to us in the Scriptures. Let’s not imitate the
citizens of Nazareth, but instead be attentive to Jesus. If we were listening to
instructions on how to pack our own parachutes, we’d give our full attention!
That’s how we should listen to Jesus at Mass.
And we should reinforce what we hear in Scripture by studying our faith. For
example, today’s Gospel speaks of the brothers and sisters of Jesus. The early
Church Fathers taught that Mary remained a virgin. Sometimes people who don’t
know the Bible or Christian history claim that Mary could not be a virgin
because "she had other children."
But while the Bible mentions "brothers and sisters" of Jesus, it NEVER states
that Mary had other children. Two of those who are called brothers of Jesus,
namely James and Joseph (see Matthew 13:56-57), are later identified as sons of
another woman (Matthew 27:56). Disciples of Jesus are called his brothers more
than 100 times in the New Testament.
Jesus did give his Mother to us when he said from the cross, "Behold your
Mother" (John 19:27). And Mary doesn’t say, "Tell him to stop talking." She does
say, "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5).
On this Fourth of July weekend, a week after the Supreme Court ruled that
God’s plan for marriage is unconstitutional, let’s ask Mary to intercede for our
nation and especially for its judicial, executive, and legislative branches of
government. Let’s pray that Mary’s intercession will help us as a nation to
realize that our rights, our laws, and our lives must be in accord with the laws
of Almighty God. Let’s pray that all Americans will do whatever Jesus tells