July 21, 2015
The good news for today
Pointing to his disciples, Jesus said, “Right here are my mother and my brothers. Anybody doing what my heavenly Father wants is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12, 49-50)
The Gospels says that when His family came to visit, He refuses to see them. Instead, Jesus seems to “replace” them with “anybody” who “does what my father wants.”
You were born into a family of course. Somehow you arrived in life through a contributing, fertile mother and father. You may have brothers and sisters. Possibly an orphan, you still have acquired father figures and mother figures of some sort.
Your more important family, in reality, however, consists of “whoever does what my father wants.” Jesus does not say, whoever “believes in me,” or “obeys my commandments,” or “does the right religious practices, like church, fasting and prayer.” It is not a clear-cut community you share that is this “family of God.”
You and I, of course, remain ignorant whether someone is doing our Father’s will. We can’t judge sin and virtue, nor know someone else’s conscience. Real evil and good remain hidden from you and me. And so you need to accept that other people may be doing what their conscience tells them to, no matter what it looks like
In the end, everyone—really or potentially—is family! The whole world—everybody in creation—belongs to this Family. Every woman is Mary, your mother, every man is a brother, every female is your sister–and every individual forms a great linking bond with everyone else. You enjoy a whole lot of folks in this Family!
As in any family of the flesh, you will endure wayward members, angry, stupid, and self-removed ones. Cherish these as people to care about—the more wayward, the more a family member needs consideration. Forgive anyone who yells at you—it’s your own brother or sister; understand the troubled woman who hurts you; see her as your own mother. It is that caring, family attitude you have that is the Good News!