“And pointing to his disciples, he said, here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
In the past, when reading this passage, I felt that Jesus was being disrespectful to his mother and brothers. However, scripture scholars tell us that we should read this passage in light of the fact that “we are all members of the one family with God as our Father.” (htttps://www.sacredspace.ie/matthew-1246-50) We are called to treat each other equally with love and respect. Jesus reminds us that we are to love God and our neighbor as ourselves.
Micah’s prophecy has three different parts. “Each part begins with God’s angry accusations and the threat of punishment. Yet each part ends on a positive note of hope and promise.” I am encouraged that God’s love has the final word. (Ultimately, Compassion, Patricia Livingston, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, Living Faith, July, August, September 2020)
Today’s readings challenge us to treat all humans as members of our family showing love, compassion, and respect. One example of showing love and respect for others in this time of pandemic is to practice social distancing and wear masks so that we do not harm others by potentially spreading the virus to those who are most vulnerable. Today, how might I imitate God’s mercy, love, and compassion treating all as family?
Carl Middleton is a theologian/ethicist and a member of the Passionist Family.