Today’s short reading (Mk 3:31-35) has Jesus’ mother and other relatives trying to get through a crowd to speak with Him. Jesus uses this as an opportunity to tell all His listeners what is required to be close to Him. It is sometimes said that in this passage Jesus minimizes, or worse, denigrates His mother by deflecting their desire to see Him by telling everyone that they too can be His mother or sibling. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is required? Doing the will of God. Who did this most perfectly? The sinless ever-Virgin Mary. She is not cast aside by Jesus; she is the template. Full of grace, she said “Yes” to God at Jesus’ conception, in birthing Jesus, in raising Jesus, in His passion and death, at Pentecost, and at her Assumption. This is the model we are to follow. A complete openness and unhesitating “Fiat!” to all that the Lord asks of us and has in store for us. Hail Mary, Full of Grace, pray for us sinners.