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Saturday 18 May |
Saint of the Day: St. John I
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Good and bad news in the same Gospel passage

Corpus Domini

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Pope Francis celebrates the Corpus Domini after a procession from St. John at the Lateran Basilica to St. Mary Major Basilica to mark the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, on June 18, 2017 in Rome

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 07/19/22

If Jesus seems to lack manners, there's a message - and for us, it's the best of news.

Today’s readings can be found here.


Good and bad news intersect in today’s Gospel.

The bad lies in the attitude Jesus seems to have toward his family members, who are trying to talk to him: “While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. Someone told him, ‘Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.’ But he said in reply to the one who told him, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’”

Why this distance? Why this lack of minimal manners? Perhaps Jesus wants to start from this very question to make it clear that what is “intimate” to him is not about birth certificates, nor simply about blood, but rather a much deeper attitude:

“And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.’”

What good news to know that we are “his family” not by genetics but by deliberate choice. Those who take the Gospel seriously are as if they are Jesus’ brother, sister, and mother.

In this sense Mary, His true Mother, is truly so twice over, because not only did she give her Son flesh and blood, but before all others she heard God’s will and put it into practice.


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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