Voices ever ancient, ever new. Tuesday-Week25-2013.

“He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it” (Luke 18:21)

In commenting on these verses from the Gospel according to Saint Luke from today’s Mass Readings, Cyril of Alexandria writes:

“The present lesson teaches us that obedience and listening to God are the causes of every blessing. Some entered and spoke respectfully about Christ’s holy mother and his brothers. He answered in these words, “My mother and my brothers are they who hear the word of God and do it.” Now do not let any one imagine that Christ scorned the honor due to his mother or contemptuously disregarded the love owed to his brothers. He spoke the law by Moses and clearly said, “Honor your father and your mother, that it may be well with you.” How, I ask, could he have rejected the love due to brothers, who even commanded us to love not merely our brothers but also those who are enemies to us? He says, “Love your enemies.” What does Christ want to teach? His object is to exalt highly his love toward those who are willing to bow the neck to his commands. I will explain the way he does this. The greatest honors and the most complete affection are what we all owe to our mothers and brothers. If he says that they who hear his word and do it are his mother and brothers, is it not plain to every one that he bestows on those who follow him a love thorough and worthy of their acceptance? He would make them readily embrace the desire of yielding themselves to his words and of submitting their mind to his yoke, by means of a complete obedience. (Commentary on Luke, Homily 42)”