Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Brother

Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.’

Jesus is speaking to the crowds when his mother and family members arrive to speak to Him.  Tradition tells that they wanted to do more than speak to Him, they wanted to take Him away for fear of what His growing number of enemies were planning to do to Him.  Jesus' response is remarkable.  He seems to rebuke His family in preference to the group of followers He had with Him.

When I think of what that rag-tag gang of disciples was made of, Jesus' words take on a new meaning.  None of Jesus' disciples at that stage would have qualified for sainthood.  The best of them would have been the loud mouthed, blundering Peter.  The worst was the money-hungry and treacherous Judas. Yet it was to these that Jesus stretched out His hand and said, "These are my family".

I see myself very easily fitting into that motley group.  I am indeed a stumbling follower, yet Jesus says that's enough to qualify.  My stumbling efforts to do the will of His Father makes me family. There's something very grounding about that realisation.  I belong to Jesus in an intimate and familial relationship, despite my brokenness. This relationship defines who I am... a brother of Jesus.  O what peace and joy comes with that.

Lord Jesus, my brother, again I rush into Your arms and say thank you.  Thank you for defining who I am... a brother of the Son of God.
Little Flower, please pray for me.

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