Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In God's Clan

Photo: Long Term Health Care Union Website
A cousin has worked with great intensity over the last decade to discover all the roots of my maternal family. Looking at names from the past, those here in the United States as well as those in Thrapston, Kettering, United Kingdom, I find a genuine curiosity about family history. It captures many hearts and much activity ... how my grandmother's family started so far away and how my cousins and me have been given so much from past generations.
The words of Jesus in Luke's gospel, chapter 8: 21, -- one simple sentence -- give us a very clear picture of our place in the family of God. Do you ever stop to think about your place in that family? More often we think of ourselves as members of the Roman Catholic Church family or of another church community. And most often we speak of our family as that group or clan of people born of two particular sets of grandparents and our own parents. Verse 21 is significant: "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act upon it."
Having family ties with Mary or those "brothers" (relatives) of Jesus is a thought that might not occur too often. Jesus' words, however, makes clear that each of us has a place of dignity in God's family. Jesus' family is more than Mary and the other relatives of his earthly family tree. My genealogy captivated cousin would say our Fisher roots are marked by journeys from England, ordinary people, who have settled in the District of Columbia area for more than 130 years. Jesus describes his family as "those who hear the word of God and act upon it." These words are both invitation and reminder that we can be members of his family.
Our efforts to fulfill the will of the Father that gives us family pride. In this divine family, we walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, our brother!