I was born and raised in a culture that is very family-centered and family-oriented. Our lives are punctuated by many family gatherings. Our family always comes in as number one. Parents would go to great lengths to provide not only their basic necessities but also a good education for their children to enable them for life. And children, more out of love than out of duty, would take care of their parents in their old age.
It is sad to see the family increasingly becoming weak and fragile, beset by many challenges. In many developed societies, more marriages end up in divorces than last the lifetime of couples. It seems that the present day throw-away culture, with its penchant for instant gratification, has no tolerance for the forgiveness, perseverance, sacrifices and mutual respect that is required of long-term loving relationships. And now, we also have to deal with the emergent phenomenon of same-sex parenting.
Even during His time on earth, Jesus has defined any loving and sharing community as a family. Anyone who harkens to his call of love and service is a brother, a sister, a mother or a father. And indeed, deep inside we are but one family born of a Father who has loved us first and has loved us endlessly.
“Lord, bless our families and make them strong that we may truly be one in invoking you as Our Father.”
The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
“Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you.”
But he said to them in reply,
“Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”