The Gift of a Spiritual Family

Mark 3:31-35
Heb 10: 1-10 / Psa 40

‘Who are My mother and My brothers?’… whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.’ (Mark 3:33,35)

If we want to be Christ’s brother,
What do our words and acts reveal?
Do we show love for each other,
As He taught us to be God’s will?

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call Him. A crowd was sitting around Him, and they told Him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” Jesus asked, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” Then He looked at those seated in a circle around Him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)

Reflection

Our Lord was not ignoring His own mother and relatives when they came to see Him, but only took this opportunity to convey an important message regarding the kingdom of God. On this occasion He was not taking His blood relationships for granted, but was simply emphasizing a higher, more lasting spiritual kinship, which is the family of God. And His message then as it is now is: we can only enter into this relationship if we do the will of the Father.

Jesus is teaching us a valuable truth about the fellowship of believers who belong to a much larger family here on earth (apart from our own natural family), which is more representative of the Father’s divine family in heaven. This spiritual family may be called a renewal community, a charismatic prayer group, or a brotherhood of Christians who are bound together by the Gospel values of Jesus Christ.

I recall the first time we joined our spiritual family, known as the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals. At first it felt strange being addressed as “brother” or “sister” by people whom we had just met. But later, it felt great feeling a sense of belonging, being part of a larger family that we had chosen to join. We discovered the essence of God’s family in the fellowship of those who bared not only their souls to one another, but were open to one another generously in Christ. In many instances we witnessed this in our brotherhood — in the financial assistance to a brother or his wife who was hospitalized; in the generous “abuloy” to a brother whose poor uncle suddenly died from a stroke; in the prayer petitions through text messages from members in need of divine intervention, and many other acts of charity. Jesus said, “This is My commandment, that you love one another.” (Jn. 15:17) Doing God’s will simply means loving one another.

In this larger family we came to realize that we all need a support group, without which most of us would be no match against the forces of evil. No soul can stand alone. How fortunate are all those who are now in one of God’s spiritual families: as we draw closer to our brothers and sisters in community, we draw nearer to Christ.

Father, You have blessed us with both our natural and spiritual families. Help us to love them constantly in good times and in bad, as it is Your will for us to follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ in all our relationships. Amen.

Comments are closed.