Monday, September 19, 2016

Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs. God’s Adoption Plan

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you." He said to them in reply, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, in this Jubilee Year of St. Paul, I turn to you with renewed zeal for the salvation of souls. I believe in you and your love for me. Teach me to live and spread the Catholic faith ardently. Increase my faith, hope, and love so that I may exclaim with St. Paul, “yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).

Petition: Teach me your will, Lord Jesus, that I may be adopted into God’s family.

1. Relationships
These brief Gospel lines provide a glimpse into the personal life of Jesus during his public ministry: He has left home; He has begun his preaching tour – yet those who are dear to him are still part of his life. In particular, “the mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him.” Mary and others of the house of David who have known him since he was young seek his company. The crowd, clinging to Christ’s words, is sensitive to the value of family and how Christ regards it. God has written “family” into human nature. Conscience can detect the importance of these relationships. “Honor thy father and mother.” Am I respectful of family life? Do work or other pursuits keep me away from those who should be dear to me? Do I ever pull others away from their family obligations?

2. My Family or God’s Family?
What constitutes a relationship? When speaking of family relationships, God wrote them into human nature at creation. When speaking of the Incarnation of the Son of God, however, a new relationship between God and man is created. Our human nature is now related directly to God through the person of God’s Son. When the angel Gabriel had announced the plan of God to her, Mary responded, “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).  Jesus identified his mother in a very personal way when he replied, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it." Mary is the model of hearing God’s word and responding. My response to Christ in faith can introduce me into a personal, familiar relationship with him.

3. Child-Heirs of God
Jesus has revealed the secret to entering into a personal relationship with him as brother or mother: heed the word of God. Thus, I may regard Jesus as my eldest brother who, in turn, reveals God the Father to me. St. Paul reflects on this mystery: “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption. As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God” (Galatians 4:4-7).

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, teach me to be more attentive to God the Father’s will, so I may truly regard you as brother.

Resolution: Today, for love of God, I will do something to build a family relationship as Christ would.

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