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The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
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Our readers asked:

When Mary and Jesus’ brothers go to him are they trying to warn him about something?

Ginny Kubitz Moyer Answers:

We don’t actually know why they came to find him. This story shows up in three places (Mark 3: 31-35, Luke 8:19-21, and Matthew 12:46-50), and none of the evangelists mentions the reason why Mary and Jesus’ brothers (often understood to be half-brothers or cousins; see the New American Bible footnote for Mark 6:3) are seeking him out. Mark’s version does hint at some worry on the part of Jesus’ family; just prior to this passage, in 3:21, some unnamed relatives of Jesus come with the intent to “seize him” and they say, “He is out of his mind.” This raises the possibility that perhaps Mary and the other relatives were concerned about Jesus’ welfare.

Ultimately, though, when it comes to answering your question, we can only speculate. The good news is that we don’t really need to know, because the main point of the story is not the fact that these family members came, but what Jesus said in response to their arrival: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35). With this statement, Jesus is making it clear that kinship with him is not some elite club, but rather a state that is attainable by everyone who lives the life that God desires for us.

 
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The Author : Ginny Kubitz Moyer
Ginny Kubitz Moyer is the author of the award-winning book Mary and Me: Catholic Women Reflect on the Mother of God. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area and blogs at randomactsofmomness.com.
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