Jesus Loves His Family: All of Us, His Mother & Brothers…

An Excerpt from my Homily for the Seminarians at Serra House today: I think many of us wrestle with what seems to be Jesus denying His family as we hear it proclaimed in today’s Gospel. But today’s Gospel takes me to the Cross where Jesus “gives” His Mother to us all; where He says to John and to the whole Church, “Behold, Your Mother”. And then in His selfless generosity as He prepares to depart from this world, He gives the woman He loves to us, holding nothing back. In love, Jesus does not want His Mother to be alone, just as He wants none of us whom He loves to be alone either. When we love others we share everything with them, and as Christians we are called to love in a complete and perfect way. In doing this we do the Will of the Father. And here we all are, more than 2,000 years later, disciples in succession from those very first days and we look to Mary as Our Mother. Of course we know that she is Jesus’ Mother, the Mother of God but when we turn to her and ask for her help, her intercession we call out to Our Mother. And so she is. As Christians we give and receive love; it’s important that we do. We are family. We understand family in a different way, a radically different way. Not only do we refer to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, we mean it, or we must seek to integrate this into our own life. Brothers, I’ve experienced this in my life. I certainly loved my own family, but my best friend’s family were like my own. From the time I was a boy I experienced love from another family and in turn throughout the years my love and the bond with them grew stronger and stronger. I learned and accepted many different things, and in fact faith was introduced to me by my best friend’s sister when I was in my 20’s. My capacity for loving others and giving and receiving love from many people drew me into a deeper relationship with God and I give thanks for that gift in my life. I can’t say that even throughout my life as a Christian I always put this together with today’s Gospel, but I am coming to see how generous Jesus is in sharing His life and family with others, and although His Words today may not speak the entire story, we know that He did not in fact deny His family, but simply indicated that His family was much larger than the nuclear family He had been given by birth and blood. Our capacity for love grows as we grow in Christian virtue and practice; and so our houses should not contain all that we can give. We too are call to push past borders and boundaries to embrace more than just our close-knit group we were blessed to be given. It does not diminish those relationships but brings greater love to a world that very much needs it. My brothers & sisters in Christ, let us consider who we have embraced as family, and in living our lives as dedicated Christians may that family grow today and every day, as it did for our Lord Himself. May God bless you.

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