In the apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis reminds us that “The family is the sanctuary of life, the place where life is conceived and cared for (AL, 83).” The Church emphasizes the role and value of the family as the seedbed of one’s faith and where life is strengthened and nourished.
At a quick glance, Jesus’ question in the Gospel—“Who are my brothers, sisters and mother?” seem a bit confusing. Jesus, however, is not diminishing the value of the family. Rather, He is extending the meaning of what a family is. We are Jesus’ family and we are all brothers and sisters in the faith by doing what God wills for us.
When I entered the seminary, I was fascinated by the fact that my fellow seminarians would address my own parents as Tito and Tita. Entering the seminary, I realized, has broadened the scope of family. My family is not anymore limited to my own parents and siblings, rather, even the parents of my brother seminarians and their siblings have also become part of the one big family of the seminary community.
My 30-day Retreat brought me back to the reality of family and my responsibility as a member of a big family. I cannot just look down at other people because they are also God’s beloved children since we are all God’s children. His love for me is unique but just as I am loved, the other is loved also. We are all equally loved by God. His love is totally inclusive.
By: Sem. Peter Collin C. Crisostomo
While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
his mother and his brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with him.
Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with you.”
But he said in reply to the one who told him,
“Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.”