In today’s Gospel, Jesus is being accused of driving out demons and because He’s allegedly in league with evil. That is outrageous, because when evil (the devil) battles evil, only the devil wins. In other words, we cannot battle evil with evil, nor did Jesus. The passage demonstrates how some Jewish religious leaders rebelled against Him. When His relatives come to be with Him, not yet fully aware of His mission on Earth, even they assert that He is not in His right mind. (Probably, I surmise, to forestall harm to Him.)

But Jesus makes it clear that the deepest bond He has with all of us, His brothers and sisters, is that we are faithful. Religious practice and authority, and not only a relationship with Him, makes us holy. Mark makes the point clearly: “And looking around at those seated in the circle He said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. [For] whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.'” Real intimacy with Jesus is about communion with Him, in fidelity, in following His example. Intimacy happens when our heart becomes more like His and we are drawn to fidelity to the Father and the Father’s way.

Pope Francis has noted that the first words of God to the human family are from today’s passage in our first reading Genesis wherein God asks Adam, “Where are you?” The Holy Father suggests that it is a good question for us today. Where do we find ourselves? What is the situation around us? What is our purpose? What is our relationship with God and with others? What is it we are being called to be and to do?

We can pray for His grace: “Make my heart like yours, Lord Jesus, that I may become more like you, my brother.”

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