“Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Matthew 12:50)
The number of atrocities Christians commit betray our identity. There is a new breed of Paganism masking itself as Christianity today and just like weeds among the wheat, it is difficult to distinguish both. God, like the patient farm owner, does not want the servants to uproot the weeds lest they uproot the wheat as well. But harvest time will come when the weeds will be gathered and burned.
People are now beginning to see that not all those who say “Lord, Lord” are fit for the kingdom of God. It is not all those working miracles and wonders in God’s name that are truly God’s ministers. Some are like Simon the magician who sought to profit from entertaining the people with magic. Paganism among Christians cuts across every denomination. It is the primordial problem of greed and the worship of mammon.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus ceases the occasion of the visit of his family members to teach us that only those who do the will of the Father in heaven deserve to be called His brothers and sisters. Many persons flocked around Jesus; some even received miracles directly from Him but in end, only a few proved themselves worthy of being called His brothers and sisters.
Many often make reference to this passage to that Mary had other children apart from Jesus. Note that to doubt the perpetual virginity of Mary is to doubt the incarnation of Jesus Christ. God who made a virgin conceive cannot be so powerless as to make that woman remain a virgin throughout the course of her life. Those often referred to as brothers and sisters of Jesus are His cousins.
However, in this passage, Jesus is saying that the water of baptism (doing God’s will) is thicker than blood. The family members of Jesus are not those related to Him by blood but those who hear the word of God and keep it. Just as there is a bond that holds members of a family together, there is a special bond between Jesus and those who keep his word. Let us ask ourselves: “Am I one of Jesus’ brothers and sisters? Or am I a devil-worshipper who just happens to go to church?”
The prophet Micah describes God as an ever-merciful father who does not retain His anger but delights in steadfast love. He treads our iniquities under foot and casts our sins into the depths of the sea. This is what happens to us when we repent. If today, you hear God’s word, know that there is no sin that He cannot forgive. Take advantage of the fact that you are still alive at this moment and return to God. Don’t wait till tomorrow.
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, renew my spirit within me and create in me a pure heart that I may worthily. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Bible Study: Micah 7:14-15,18-20, Ps. 85:2-8, Matthew 12:46-50).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu