While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven 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.
In Pixar’s Coco, 10 year-old Miguel rejects his family because they refuse to accept his passion for music. Ironically, they fear music’s ability to push young men to abandon their family ties. It may seem in today’s reading that Jesus is inviting his followers to a similar rejection of their relations in favor of the greater ties through Jesus with God.
I think Jesus is actually subverting the notion of families entirely. He reminds us that the ties that bind us as Christians are so deep that we ought to offer familial love to all those in our faith community. Who in your faith community might you love today with the intensity of your sister, brother, father, or mother?
Lord Jesus, you challenge us to expand our idea of who we ought to love whether it is our neighbor, our family, or strangers. Open our hearts to those around us who might need special care, attention, or prayers. Help us to treat each person as Jesus treated his own family, and as he treats each of us. We pray this in your name. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
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