Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.”But he said to them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
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-translations
Growing up, my concept of family expanded beyond my wildest dreams. After our parents got divorced, my younger brother and I welcomed into our lives our stepmother and eventually two adopted, bi-racial siblings (a brother and a sister, not related to each other).
While each member of our family has a different experience and perspective, we share a basic belief that we are a family. We’ve learned that love is thicker than blood, and that all are welcome at our table.
Today we are shown that being a part of God’s family means going beyond the boundaries and norms of our time. Jesus doesn’t mean to disparage his mother or brothers who are waiting outside for him; he uses the occasion to teach us that his family includes anyone who answers God’s call.
Reflect on what it means to be part of God’s family. How might we go beyond our comfort zones to reach out to “the other.”
—Jeremy Langford is the director of communications for the Chicago-Detroit Province Jesuits and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life
Lord, help us not to look past your “mother and brothers” today. Your family members may be disguised by status or affiliation, by their look and dress, by being up on their luck or down on their luck. One more thing – we will experience our day confident that you call us your “mothers and brothers.” Let these truths make all the difference in our attitude toward our work and our worries.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team