Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week In Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)
While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.” But he said in reply… “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
Unlike royalty, you are not born into Christianity. You must be born from above.
Unlike the royals, you are not a Christian by blood. You become a Christian by grace and faith.
Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? Unlike Judaism and British royalty, blood relations are of little to no significance in Christianity. We are united by faith. This is extremely liberating. We are not obliged to believe; we are not thrown to the throne; we are not a people of a particular race or tribe. We are believers in Jesus Christ.
Yesterday I heard on the news that one of the constitutional duties of the Royal family is to have children. What??? I couldn’t believe my ears! It’s a constitutional duty for them to have children??? How ridiculous! And yet, everyone at Good Morning America nodded in agreement that it was necessary for the royals to continue their lineage and have a legitimate successor.
No one questioned it. How could they? It was their “constitutional duty."
But when the Catholic Church tells her members that it is their God-given duty to have children, people go crazy. They throw a fit! Their world is turned upside down! How dare they tell us that we must have children! Cries of intolerance erupt. Women are horrified of the thought. Men are aghast at the idea of having to grow up and be responsible. Who are they to tell us that we should have children! What right do they have to tell us what is and isn’t God-given or even God’s will!
Aren’t you amused at the double standards? I once was, but now I’m not. I once was lost but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see. Amazing Grace!
Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother. Not too long ago, a man came to me and told me that a woman came knocking on his parent’s door. It turns out that the woman was the biological daughter of his father. After years of searching, she found him. She wanted to know him. She wanted to establish contact with him. The man told me that his father was unaware of her existence. He didn’t know her. He never knew of her. Yet, this woman, was intent on “reestablishing” contact with his father. When the son asked this grown woman of nearly forty years why she wanted to meet him, she replied, “He’s my dad.”
In reply, the son said: “But what about the man who took care of you your entire life? What about him? Isn’t he your dad?” Everything seemed awfully fishy to him, and for good reason. After some research and time, he discovered that this woman was no longer on speaking terms with her mother or step-father.
When I heard this story, I didn’t feel bad for the woman or for her biological father, but for the father; that is, the father who adopted her, brought her up as if she were his own flesh and blood, took care of her and paid all her bills for years and years. And this is what he got?
Like us, the Lord is not so much interested in the laws of nature. Rather, He is very much interested in the laws of love. He’s not so much interested in revealing to us how the world was made. He’s much more interested in revealing to us why it was made. There’s nothing strange in this. Painters are like this. Writers are like this. Even fathers and mothers are like this. They aren’t so much interested in the mechanics of their children. Instead, they are interested in the decisions they make.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him.