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.”
Being adopted, I have come to believe that we can choose who is included in our families…
Of course we are tied to those in our actual family, but we can also consider others who are close to us to be part of our family group.
For instance, since I am not biologically related to anyone in my family, I consider my brother in law and sisters in law to be just like my other siblings, and I have close family friends who I have treated as brothers and sisters/aunts and uncles as well.
Hilary Clinton once quoted from an old proverb about how takes a village to raise a child, and although it has now become somewhat over-used (and occasionally derided) there is truth in this saying.
As single parents we have learned that we do not really raise our children on our own, we have an extended ‘family’ to help us: from our family members, to friends, teachers, clergy and professionals (when needed).
Of course, this speaks to our real family, the family of God, the people of faith who we rely on to help us to meet the challenges of being a single parent, and raising kids…which is a challenge no matter what the situation is at home.
In today’s Gospel I do not think Jesus was seeking to put down his biological family, but expressing the fact that we are all connected, all part of God’s family, all loved by God; just as we love our children…and as such God always wants the best for us, and so we have the gift of the Holy Spirit and the gift of other people in our lives…even those who may not be Christian. As it can take a village, filled with all types of people to raise a child, and I have seen God work through many people, including those who claim not to have faith, as well as those who follow other religions.
This is part of the gift of grace also: that God can work through anyone, to help us and our children as we continue to grow up, mature and experience all that life has to offer.
In the light of God’s love, we are all part of the same family, all well-loved children of God!!!
Let us Pray
God, thank you for including us as part of your family; please help us to remember that we are all connected in the light of your love and grace, and to treat each other as fellow children of God. Thank you for the support and love you have given to us through the spirit and through each other, and help us to share this love and hope with each other as we face life’s challenges together, as one family, remembering that we are all in this together.