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The true family of Jesus

Gospel Reading: Mt 12:46-50

While Jesus was still 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?” 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.”

REFLECTION: The will of my heavenly father

Jesus teaches his disciples to look beyond the values of this world and see things from God’s perspective. In the world, human relationships or affiliations count a lot: we say, for example, “Charity begins at home.” The needs of our immediate loved ones take on priority over those of others. Jesus is thus expected to stop what he is doing because his family members need him. But Jesus retorts that those to whom he is speaking are his mother and brothers; for him, in God’s Kingdom, what truly binds is not blood but doing the will of God.

Jesus is not advocating disrespect or disregard for our family members as we engage in ministry. What he teaches us is that we can be “mothers, brothers or sisters” in a deeper sense – more profound than blood relationship – if we do the will of God. Our belongingness to the family of God depends, ultimately, on how we put into practice God’s word to us.

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Do we allow family concerns to distract us from our ministries? Do we consider doing God’s will the ultimate criterion of genuine relationship with God?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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