In Christ’s Family

Luke 8: 19-21
Ezra 6: 7-8,12b,14-20 / Psa 122

My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.
(Luke 8:21)

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

Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him, but they were not able to get near Him because of the crowd. Someone told Him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (Luke 8:19-21)

Reflection

It may seem at first that our Lord was ignoring the presence of His beloved mother and His relatives who had come with her all the way from Nazareth just to see Him; or that He gave her less importance by saying, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” On the contrary, Jesus was actually implying that the Blessed Mother Mary was the prime example and model of those who hear the Word of God and put it into practice. It is very clear in this Gospel that our Blessed Mother was the most obedient to God’s bidding. She said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk.1:38) And she “kept all these things in her heart” (Lk.2:19,51). She stood by her Son (God’s Word Incarnate) up to the very end of His life on earth.

It was in imitation of our Blessed Mother that we became members of Jesus’ family in our brotherhood. We joined His renewal community 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 strengthen our faith 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 by being active in Your Church and in our community. Through our adopted brotherhood we have become adopted siblings of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose Name we worship You. Amen.

Comments are closed.