True kinship

“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

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Lk 8,19-21

His mother and his brothers came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd. He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.’ But he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.’With these words the Lord opens the highest dimension of kinship among human beings, namely the kinship of those who live as children of God. In it, all forms of kinship that we know through the blood are surpassed, since the children of God are together directed towards God! With no one can we have such a kind of relationship as with those who earnestly seek God’s will and seek to fulfil it daily.

We can say that this kinship is born not of the flesh but of the Spirit. That is why it knows no limitation, but can arise all over the world, wherever people fulfil the will of God! It is a wonderful circumstance when blood relatives also become relatives in the Spirit of God!

We need not evaluate the first part of the words of today’s gospel as a rejection of the mother of the Lord and his kin, but as a teaching of the Lord which points beyond natural bonds. The natural relatives are included in the filiation of God when they too seek the will of God. They must not, however, compete with her. Should this be the case, then the natural relationship must take second place to the spiritual relationship.

The history of families, clans, tribes, peoples and nations is often enough marked by discord. The heritage of the “fallen Adam” is effective in them or, to put it in biblical terms, the “old Adam” needs redemption through the “new Adam”, Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Cor 15,21-22)!

Unfortunately, this “old Adam” is also often enough effective in those who have already received the grace to live as children of God through Holy Baptism.

St. James complains:

“Where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start? Is it not precisely in the desires fighting inside your own selves?” (Jas 4,1)

Realising this new and greater kinship between people is a task that needs to be taken further. The church as a community of believers is called to realise this unity among all peoples.

Only this conscious kinship in God, which includes a sincere conversion to Jesus Christ, makes it possible for the Kingdom of God to take shape on earth. Again and again ideologies, political systems etc. have tried to create a kind of paradisiacal peace on earth and have failed. This is in fact a clear lesson in history which should make us understand that, despite the desire for unity among men, we will not achieve it without conversion to the Lord.

We must listen to the Word of God and act accordingly. The true unity of humanity will happen then. If we make it happen, we will live in the grace of the children of God and will recognise those who do.

If we remember that the right way of faith realizes the new unity of humanity, we will be even more motivated to participate in the redemption of humanity far beyond our borders. Every effort to overcome our “old Adam”, to make the Lord more effective in us, serves to spread the Kingdom of God.

The view widens to all those who are baptised but do not live according to the grace of God, and to those who do not yet know God or know Him too little. They too are called to live as children of God, and they still have to be reached by the faithful so that they may repent and receive enlightenment from the Lord! Through the daily path of conscious discipleship and the testimony that arises from it, we serve this goal.

God will reward us in eternity in the full communion with him, the angels and all the people who have come home forever.