Day 6 - Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth
Day 6 Novena Reflection
In the Gospel of Luke, we read:
"The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you." He said to them in reply, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it." (Luke 8:19-21)
The encounter is also found in the account offered to us by St Matthew.
As one who teaches and preaches in the Catholic Church and the broader Christian community, I am often asked about whether Jesus had brothers and sisters. If by that question is meant natural or blood relatives, the text and the unbroken Christian tradition make the answer clear, No.
But the passage has a much deeper meaning.
Failure to consider the original language of the text has led to a mistaken notion of the possibility of Jesus having brothers in his natural family. The reality is that the word used for extended family, a vital part of the Jewish understanding of family, is not accurately translated.
Sadly, since the unfortunate ruptures in the Church since the Protestant Reformation (and there is plenty of blame to go around), this particular misinterpretation has been amplified and used in polemics. Such an exercise not only adds to the unfortunate divisions among Christians, it misses the meaning and beauty of the passage.
Unfortunately, some have also argued that these passages stand for the proposition that Jesus was making a comment intended to lessen the importance of his earthly mother. This "mother is unimportant" interpretation is textually inaccurate and theologically mistaken.
It runs contrary to the biblical context of the encounter and rejects the consistent, unbroken Christian tradition concerning its profound meaning. Such a misreading ascribes a minimalist role to Mary in the Christian revelation and consequently in the life of every Christian.
It can cause us to miss a profound truth concerning the Christian life and vocation - as well as the meaning of the Church. It can discourage us from digging deeper into the text and grasping a profoundly important insight. This insight has great implications and can lead us to a deeper experience of the Christian life and vocation.
I stand with the ancient Christian tradition, rooted in what is called the Patristic literature (writings of the early Church fathers). The opposite of this "mother is less important" claim is what is being revealed through these words - and in this encounter.
Understood in this light, this passage reveals a framework for an authentically human and relational spirituality, a spirituality of communion. We are made members of the very family of God through Jesus Christ and His Saving Incarnation. We are his mothers, brothers and sisters, as we live His Word and walk in His Way.
Through our Baptism, we are all invited into the very family of God. When we choose to be obedient to the will and the Word of God; we enter into an eternal relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We actually become a part of the "family" of God; we become "mother" sister" and "brother" to the Lord.
We enter into "communion" with the Trinitarian God, through Him.
We enter into the Communion of His Saints.
All Saints of God, Pray for us.
Novena Prayer to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth
Beloved Father, through the life, death and resurrection of your only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ, we have become your adopted sons and daughters.
Through Baptism we are now members of His Body, the Church, which is Your family.
Our Savior Jesus taught us that whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother. We thank you that promise includes each one of us.
As members of the family of Jesus we are now reunited to you, in Him. Through Baptism we have become adopted sons and daughters in your Beloved Son.
We now turn to you in prayer, through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit as OUR FATHER, ABBA.
We pray that, by the power of your Holy Spirit, you would raise up in our midst holy men, women and children, in every Nation, culture and walk of life.
Men, women and children who are so conformed to your Son Jesus that they make Him known by their words, deeds and life of love and sacrificial service.
Men, women and children who are saints for this urgent hour.
Men, Women and children who manifest the power of heaven on earth. Who continue the ministry of Jesus, your Son and our Savior, through signs of the kingdom to come.
May these holy men and women multiply - providing leaders and servants for a New Missionary Age of the Church.
And, we pray for ourselves and our families, that we could grow closer and closer to you, every day, that we would be transformed by your grace and our free cooperation with your grace - Empowered by your Holy Spirit to become new creations in Jesus Christ.
Wouldn't you agree that the more Catholics know about their faith, the more they will love Our Lord?Catholic Online School provides a free Catholic educaition to tens of thousands of students (young and old) around the world. To keep our mission growing strong, I ask that you consider supporting us so that we can serve even more Catholics, as we spread the Good News to all nations. May God bless you, Deacon Keith Fournier
Support Now >
Start the Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth
Browse our Novenas
Browser Prayers by Section
Prayer of the Day
How to pray the Rosary
El Rosario Santo
Sign of the Cross
The Way - The First Christians
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy
Stations of the Cross
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, July 17th, 2019 HD Video
- St. Carmen: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, July 16, 2019
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, July 16, 2019
- Prayer Requests Live for Monday, July 15th 2019 HD Video
- Vatican draws attention to sacrifice of seafarers, requests prayers
- Amid political uncertainty, Haitian bishops announce year of prayer
- San Francisco auxiliary bishop, seminary rector, dies age 70
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, July 16th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, July 15th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, July 12th 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, July 14th, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.