Who is your family? Over the past few weeks, this question has not only shifted for me, but extended greatly as I was married to James and we became one family, remembering my immediate family, his, and our extended as well. Google gives the definition of family as a group of parents and children living under one roof. However, for us, this definition reaches so much further when we consider the life God has given us within the promise of Baptism. The Church, Universal, is our family, which includes those closest to us, and those we've never met across the globe. God also tells us that family is helping those who don't yet know Him to come to faith. Think hard about it, do you treat everyone as if they are family?
Today's Gospel states:'While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother"'(Matthew 12:46-50).
In today's Gospel, we hear about how Jesus claims his family, any who do the will of God, who believe and trust, and act in faith are his true family. If Jesus could so easily accept the people around him, the poor, the sinner, the stranger, even later those who crucify him on the cross, we too can reap the benefits of extending our family. We need to cherish and love those closest to us, and make sacrifices, as Jesus does for us on the cross, but also for the rest of our Universal family. Let us pray today to ask God to help strengthen our Church family, as well as the family closest to us.
Today's prayer comes from 'CatholicOnline' a prayer for the family:
Great protector of the family, St. Gerard, we ask your prayers for all parents, that they may receive the grace to live in the love of God and bring up their children to know and love him with all their hearts.
We ask you to pray that those who take the lives of unborn innocents and attack the dignity of motherhood may come to see the error of their ways, and that all men may value the holiness of Christian family life.
God, our loving Father, your love gives life to the world. Bless and make holy all human love, especially the life-giving love of husband and wife. May your love fill the hearts and homes of all families, so that the world may enjoy the peace and happiness promised by your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.