Family Values!

Yikes! Jesus doesn’t seem to be a very “family values” type guy in today’s gospel. It seems as if he is snubbing his mother and his brothers and sisters. Add this to the time that Jesus remarked that no one could come to him without hating father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters and it can be quite confusing.

Of course, Jesus isn’t calling for anyone to hate anyone. Nor is he snubbing family members and expecting us to do the same.  Jesus is, nevertheless, doing something rather radical: he is calling on his disciples to move beyond the limitations of blood family and move into the larger, bigger, broader family of the Kingdom of God!

Jesus came announcing the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God. His whole life and ministry are revealing and initiating here on earth the way it is in heaven, the way it is with God. And with God there are no favorites; with God, no one is excluded from love. That is God’s way, God’s will.  And anyone who acts as God acts, who loves as God loves, who receives every person with dignity, respect and good will, well that person is doing God’s will, living God’s way. And that means, that person is your brother, sister, mother, father: your family—provided, of course, you and I are living and loving the same.

Now THAT is what “family values” means.

Peace and every good,

Father Liam

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