Tuesday, XVI Week of Ordinary Time Year A

The Family of Christ and its Fundamental Requirement

Readings: 1st: Mi 7:14-15. 18-20; Ps 84; Gos: Mt 12:46-50

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the Tuesday of the sixteenth week of ordinary time, Christ reminds us that the fundamental requirement for being part of his family is, doing the will of his Father.

When Christ was told that his Mother and relatives were looking for him, he responded: “Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

To some, Christ’s response could easily be misinterpreted. Someone might say that Christ disrespected or dishonored his family.

For others, this supports their claim, and forms the basis for denying the important role that Mary played in the history of our salvation.

However, what Christ simply did was to extend his family. Through this, he created a bigger community. So, he means that, doing the will of God, is a fundamental requirement for being part of his great family.

Also, through this Christ reminds us of the nature of his family. First, it is biological. That is, he is truly the Son of Mary and has relatives. Second, his other family is made up of those who do the will of God. 

Mary and his relatives belong to both families. It suffices to note that Mary was the first to do the will of God when she preeminently said: “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).

For this reason, she is the first disciple of Christ, and the model for all Christians on how to accept and do the will of God.

Therefore, what makes us members of God’s family is our ability to do his will, and not just our nominal membership of a particular congregation.

Christ continues to invite us day after day, and time after time to share in this true intimacy which unites us with him, and with one another in one big family of God.

So, let us pray that the Holy Spirit may help us to always do the will of God, so that that we may continue to enjoy the membership of this great family, where Christ himself is the head.

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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