Our Brotherhood, God’s Family

Luke 8: 19-21
Prov 21:1-6,10-13 / Psa 119

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

The Word of God provides the way
For us to become Christ’s brethren;
But we must live it day by day
If we want to be God’s children.

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

Our Lord Jesus was not taking His mother for granted when she came to see Him. He was simply emphasizing that our relationship with God comes first above everything in this life, even our own parents or spouse, or even our own life. We become one with Jesus and His Father when we make the Word of God live in our life. This must be the primary reason why we sought out a larger “family” aside from our own.

We did not get to be part of Jesus’ family in our brotherhood because we deserved it. We became members of 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 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 on 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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