Tuesday in the Twenty-Fifth Week of Ordinary Time at Mississippi Abbey

Jesus’ family members were not always supportive of Him and His mission. They just didn’t understand.

The deepest relationships in life are not always blood relations. They are relations of mind-to-mind and heart-to-heart. They are relations that have common aims, principles, interests, and goals. A new kinship is formed. Nowadays we refer to such a friend or friends as “soul mates.” Such relations inspire a commitment…a commitment of one’s life, of how she lives it. This usually takes the form of marriage or a religious community. A common consciousness is formed. Jesus is telling us that this common consciousness is of utmost importance. To regard a community member (“…brother, sister…”) by any other criteria (such as race, diagnostic category, ethnic) is to exclude him or her as a follower of Christ.   

In either of these, the participants are attempting to bring the kingdom of God to earth; to have God’s will done on earth as it is in heaven. This makes them kin to the only one who has ever done this perfectly: Jesus Christ.

He conformed His will perfectly; we do it awkwardly, inconsistently, and contentiously. We find it hard to live life someone else’s way. Repentance (i.e., surrender) will be necessary. We grow by our willingness to face and rectify our errors and convert them to assets. And when we do we will experience that kinship: we will experience the Holy Spirit in our hearts.