Our Brotherhood, God’s Family

Luke 8: 19-21
Ezr 6:7-8,12b,14-20 / Ps 122

My mother and my brothers are all those who hear the Word of God and act on it.
(Luke 8:21)

Blessed are we who hear the Word
And act on it as Jesus said.
We shall not lack for God’s reward,
His heirs we shall become instead.

Once, when Jesus’ mother and relatives came to see him, they couldn’t get to him because of the crowds. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, and they wish to see you.” Jesus replied, “My mother and my brothers are all those who hear the Word of God and act on it.” (Luke 8: 19-21)

Reflection

Last Sunday, our community’s governance team spent an overnight stay at the Eden Mountain Resort to hold a Lord’s Day celebration and a prayer meeting the following day. We enjoyed a big discount, courtesy of its operations manager who is an active member of the brotherhood. Providentially, one of our active groups was hosting a “teaching” in the resthouse of a sister, which just happened to be along the way to the mountain resort. They invited our group to listen to a Charismatic lay leader who gave a Spirit-filled talk on how we should conduct our lives as children of God. Our spiritual experience on that trip clearly showed us what a loving Father we all have.

We did not get to be part of Jesus’ family in our brotherhood because we deserved it. We became members of His renewal community simply because we heard the Word and responded to God’s call. All of us did not feel we were worthy, but now we feel that we are all related to each other as brothers and sisters because we follow Jesus, and regularly nourish our spirits on His Word. Jesus looked into our hearts, saw our commitment to His Word, and told us, “You are members of my family.”

St. James wrote, “Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (James 1:22-24) The key is hearing God’s Word and obeying Him. The entire chapter 8 of Luke’s Gospel is about hearing and responding appropriately to God’s message. In 8:18, Jesus said: “Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has (listened), more (understanding) will be given. But to those who have not (been listening), even what they think they have (wisdom) will be taken away from them.” Many Christians seek out various avenues in the path of the spiritual, and yet miss the most important and simplest way: to take the time to listen to God’s Word and act on it accordingly. The real problem for us today is that we do not shut everything else out and simply tune in to God and hear what He’s telling us in our prayers and in Scriptures. We have a hearing problem, and it’s not because we’ve stopped listening, but because we never bother to put off our mobile phones or even put them into silent mode. Modern man is beset with so many distractions that it is almost impossible to hear God on a regular basis.

St. Paul tells us that we are all “children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. All who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like Him… you are all one in Christ Jesus… you belong to Him, (and) are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and all the promises God gave to him now belong to you.” (Gal.3:26-29)

Lord God, we thank You for making us members of Your family in our community through our adopted brotherhood with Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose Name we pray to You, our heavenly Father. Amen.

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