He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them “brothers,” saying: “I will proclaim your name to my brothers, in the midst of the assembly I will praise you” (Hebrews 2:11-12).For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help (Hebrews 4:15-16).
I don’t know about you, but most of the news I read about in the newspaper I would call the “bad news.” What’s in your newspaper today? Is it the latest setback in the economy? Here’s the Washington Post’s front page headline for January 30, 2009, “Economic Signs Turn From Grim To Worse” and for January 31, 2009, “Economy Sinks Under Weight of Inventory.” If not the economy, is it the latest report on the various wars and uprisings going on in the world? Maybe murders or robberies in your city? Celebrity marriages, divorces, and remarriages?
How would you like to hear some really good news for a change: You are a beloved son of God the Father. Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior, is also your brother! Have you ever thought about that? It’s easy to forget that Jesus was fully human and that he shares kinship with us. In fact, he is willing-indeed, happy-to be so closely connected with us. Not only that, he is the one who makes us holy and we ourselves have the same origin (Hebrews 2:11). We are of the same stock.
Jesus knows our struggles — not just because he’s God and he knows everything, but because he shared our humanity (Hebrews 4:15). He knows firsthand our human limitations. He knows our tiredness and weakness and the incessant whispering of the devil that we all face. He knows our grief, our fear, and our reluctance to do what the Father asks sometimes. None of these pulled him down, but he is our brother, full of compassion for us, even when we do fall. That’s why we can “confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help” (Hebrews 4:16).
As your brother, Jesus wants to strengthen you. He wants to speak truth to you. He wants to teach and encourage and protect you, to walk right with you through everything you face in life. What’s more, he is not ashamed to be called your brother (Hebrews 2:12). Rather, he is proud to have you as his own. He loves you, understands you, and is deeply concerned for you. And more than anything, Jesus wants to pour the love, confidence, joy, and peace that are in his heart into your heart so that you can stand strong in this world, just as he did. All he asks of each of us is to turn to him and open ourselves to receive it.
It may be hard to believe such good news, but genuine news has a way of surprising us. Just ask Jesus to teach you. Sit quietly, and let him show you what it means that he is your brother. He may speak to you through Scripture, in a song, in a quiet voice in your heart, or through something a friend said to you yesterday. Write down whatever you sense him saying, and take it with you all day and every day. After all, it’s the best news you could ever hear! It’s the good news of the Gospel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ our brother.
“Jesus, I want to know you more deeply as my brother. Open my eyes and my heart so that I can draw closer to you and be transformed into your image and likeness. More than anything, I want to live a life that is pleasing to you.”
Maurice Blumberg was the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (http://www.catholicmensresources.org/), and is currently a Trustee. He is also the Director of Partner Relations for Partners in Evangelism, (http://www2.wau.org/partners/), a Ministry to Servicemen and Prisoners for The Word Among Us (http://www.wau.org/).
[Many thanks to The Word Among Us for allowing us to adapt material from daily meditations in their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission.]
Questions for Reflection/Discussion by Catholic Men
- 1. How would you compare the news you read in your newspaper with the “Good News” of the Gospel?
- 2. How would you describe the “Good News” of the Gospel?
- 3. What is your reaction to the fact that Jesus is your brother?
- 4. In the article, we hear these words: “As your brother, Jesus wants to strengthen you. He wants to speak truth to you. He wants to teach and encourage and protect you, to walk right with you through everything you face in life.” What steps can we take to allow this to happen in a deeper way?
- 5. If you are in a men’s group, end your meeting by praying that each of you would experience more deeply the reality that Jesus Christ is truly your brother. Use the prayer at end of the article as the starting point.