Saturday, 6 June 2015

"Who Are My Mother and my Brothers?" Mark 3:20-35

Then his mother and his brothers 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.” Mark 3:20-35

Thirty years ago, I had a dream. And Gabriel, aflame with glory, with eyes that have seen the wonder of the depths of space, told me I was favoured by God. And I was greatly troubled.

It was not easy. Joseph rejected me, for a while, It was a strange labour, in a foreign town, with odd visitors to the baby. At his blessing, I received a curse: "a sword will pierce your own heart".

But then it was easier. He grew in wisdom and the knowledge of the Lord. He was pious, eloquent, clever, funny. He saw things in new ways, spinning sermons from wheat and weeds, coins and parties.

That sword pierces now. He is the friend of sinners, the enemy of the scribes, He takes the Law, and completes it to keep it. He breaks the rules and throws out demons. He's talking about the end of the world - but saying it begins, and ends, with him.

I lost him once before. On the road from Jerusalem. He said then there was somewhere he had to be instead - his Father's house, not our's. He was surrounded by wise men then. Not the ones the wise men despise, like now.

I want him home. Out of the crowds, away from those hero-worshipping disciples. Away from the Magdalene - they say she had a demon. Far away from the prostitutes, the needy, the edgy, the lame. Back to where the grain of wood and the hammer of nails are all that matter - the life he was called to.

 Is he mad? The wise men say he has a demon. If he throws out demons, can he be what they say? I want to hug him, to hold him, But we can't get near him. They crowd around him - needing, touching, holding, listening. And when he knows we are here - "my mother and my brothers and my sister are those who do God's will". So am I not his mother? Has he rejected me? Forgotten me?

But my love runs deep, for my odd, eccentric first-born. I promised God I'd carry him. And now I'm here, I'll not let him leave me. Though his face is turned to Jerusalem, I'll follow him. I'll follow him to the ends of the world.

I held him in my arms before.

I'll hold him again.

Pieta - Giovanni Bellini


  1. It's a rare gift, this ability to move to both laughter and tears.


Drop a thoughtful pebble in the comments bowl