My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.
We should be careful not to take this as Jesus downplaying the importance of Mary. We know that he deeply cared for and loved his mother. What he is doing here, though, is forging a deep relationship with those who hear the word of God and act on it. Those people are truly family to Jesus, part of the assembly of his brothers and sisters. We should all strive to be placed in this great company.
And today it is the book of Proverbs that speaks to us about how we can accomplish this. The text gives us practical examples of the word of God. The wise person, the one who would be in the family of Jesus, is one who strives for righteousness and justice, avoids haughtiness and pride, is diligent and honest, is compassionate, avoids arrogance and instead pursues simplicity and integrity, one who hears the cry of the poor.
The Liturgy's words to us today are simple, brothers and sisters in Christ, but in some ways very challenging. To live simple and honest lives with integrity and justice, and to reach out to those in need – all of that is the Gospel's challenge in a nutshell. And those of us who would strive to be the brothers and sisters of Jesus are called to pursue that kind of life.