The Family of Jesus

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)

When we joined our community
We learned this is what we must fulfill:
To belong to Christ’s family
We must submit to the Father’s will.

His mother had arrived with some of Jesus’ close relatives, and standing outside they sent word to Him. The crowd of people inside informed Him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for You.” Answering them, He said, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” And looking at the apostles sitting around Him, He said, “Behold, My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)

Reflection

Jesus had stoked the ire of the religious leaders with His radical teachings and claim of divinity. Some of His relatives had come earlier to take charge of Him because “He is out of His mind” (3:21). Not understanding His ministry, even His own family had come to take Him home. Jesus knew that His family was misguided in their concern for His welfare, but He took advantage of their presence to give important lessons on commitment, God’s will, and the Church as our more important and larger family.

Following Jesus can at times put strains on relationships especially if members of the family belong to different churches. My niece is married to an American Baptist pastor, and no longer attends mass with her parents. But she is very active in their church and devoted to spreading the Good News. She said that while her natural family might be opposed to her beliefs, she takes comfort in the fact that there is a larger, and more important spiritual family to which we all belong, where we all see Jesus as the same Savior, and the same God as the Father of all His children.

“Whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother,” Jesus said as He regarded His apostles around Him. They had all left their former way of life to follow Him, and eventually to follow God’s will. I remember the time when we first joined the BCBP. Total strangers were calling us “brother” and “sister”. Back then it was a new thing for us, but we thought it was great, because it gave us a sense of belonging, being part of a big spiritual family. It was here that we learned how God intended different communities under His Church to become our spiritual families. Each is a fellowship of people, loving and caring for one another, bound together in a common relationship to Christ. In our spiritual family, we also learned submission to authority – to our group leaders, directors and chapter head. This eventually taught us to submit to our Church, and to the will of God, our Father – for our own good.

Lord, help us to be open to one another that we may be open to Your will. Amen.

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