Recognizing a Stranger as a Brother

First Reading: 1 Mi 7:14-15, 18-20

Psalm: 85:2-4, 5-6, 7-8

Gospel: Mt 12:46-50

Jesus transformed the relationship between husband and wife when He said that the Biblical provisions for divorce were no longer necessary (Mt 19:6ff; Dt 24:1-4). He transformed motherhood when He commanded His mother Mary to be the mother of all His disciples (Jn 19:26-27). Jesus transformed the meaning of fatherhood, sonship, and daughterhood when He told us to call God our Abba, that is, Father (Mt 6:9). This made us brothers and sisters of Jesus and of each other. Jesus said: “Whoever does the will of My heavenly Father is brother and sister and mother to Me” (Mt 12:50).

When we were baptized into Jesus, we were baptized into a radically transformed brotherhood and sisterhood. Paul spoke of those who bear “the title ‘brother’” (1 Cor 5:11). Brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ are recognized as special and exalted callings. Paul also spoke of “false claimants to the title of brother” (Gal 2:4). This implies that brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ are so valuable that we would want to claim these titles. If we are to claim in truth the title of brother or sister, we must lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters (1 Jn 3:16).

Consider brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ great honors. To claim these honors, lay down your life in love for your brothers and sisters.

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