Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Jesus became “too” radical. I can imagine his family going out to “save” Jesus from the craziness that had consumed him. His healings, forgiving sins, itinerant preaching, criticizing the established order caused trouble—and still does today. Christ’s model for the Kingdom of God is completely different to our own. His response to those who tell him, “your mother and brothers are asking for you,” can seem a bit severe to us: “Who are my mothers and brothers, but those who do the will of God?” Some may hear erroneously, “He has rejected his family, and has excluded them from his presence.”
Others hear a message of radical inclusion— “Even those who were not relatives by blood become my family now.” He breaks open the limits of the Kingdom, making room for all who do God’s will. Whom do I include/exclude from my love? Can I say: “Here is my family”?
Lord Jesus, who has made us living members of your body, keep us deeply united to yourself. Help us overcome our conflicts, our divisions, and our self-seeking; and let us remember that unity is always better than conflict. Help us to be united to one another by one force, by the power of love which the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts. Amen.
—Pope Francis, Homily of January 25, 2014Please share the Good Word with your friends!