Monday, January 25, 2016

Whoever Does the Will of God

By William Hole [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons 

By Melanie Rigney

I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and that I am confident lives also in you. (2 Timothy 1:4-5)

Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations. (Psalm 96:3)

A crowd seated around (Jesus) told him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.” But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:32-35)

Lord, I thank You for my brothers and sisters, every single one of them.

Ah, family.

How blessed Timothy was to have the faith-filled examples of his grandmother and mother, examples that also inspired Paul.

How blessed we all are for Mary’s fiat, her yes when called upon to offer up her body as the dwelling place for the Lord’s only Son.

Today’s Gospel reading from Mark 3 sounds a bit cold at first read. Jesus seems to deny Mary and his own extended family. But on further reflection, this may be among the most comforting readings in the New Testament. It doesn’t matter where you come from, Jesus in essence says, whether your parents were saints or sinners, faithful followers of the Lord or atheists, pillars of the community or scum. What matters is your obedience and love.

It helps immensely to be guided and bolstered by the support and example of faith-filled family and community. But truly, even those of us from the smallest, vilest, least impressive beginnings have a place at the banquet table. The invitation is offered to all. It’s up to us to have the courage and faith to accept it.

Are you judging someone based on his or her family background, education, national origin, faith background, or socioeconomic status? Pray for that person tonight with the same love and intensity that you do for the dearest members of your family.

No comments: